Journal Article

Inhibitory effects of lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus Stapf) on formation of azoxymethane-induced DNA adducts and aberrant crypt foci in the rat colon.

R Suaeyun, T Kinouchi, H Arimochi, U Vinitketkumnuen and Y Ohnishi

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 18, issue 5, pages 949-955
Published in print May 1997 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online May 1997 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/18.5.949
Inhibitory effects of lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus Stapf) on formation of azoxymethane-induced DNA adducts and aberrant crypt foci in the rat colon.

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The 80%-ethanol extract of lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus Stapf), a medicinal plant in Thailand, has been reported to be antimutagenic against various known mutagens in the Salmonella mutation assay. To investigate chemoprevention in an animal carcinogenesis model, we examined inhibitory effects of the lemon grass extract on the formation of azoxymethane (AOM)-induced DNA adducts and aberrant crypt foci (ACF) in the rat colon. One week after the start of the treatment with lemon grass extract at doses of 0.5 or 5 g/kg body wt by gavage, F344 rats received two s.c. injections of 15 mg of AOM per kg body weight at 1 week apart. For DNA adduct analysis of the colon and liver, the rats were killed 12 h after the second AOM injection. The DNA from the liver and colon were used for O6-methylguanine and N7-methylguanine analysis. For ACF analysis in the initiation stage, AOM-injected rats were continuously treated with lemon grass extract and were killed 3 weeks after the second AOM injection. For analysis in the promotion stage the treatment with the lemon grass extract (0.5 g/kg) started 2 weeks after the second AOM injection and continued for 12 weeks until the animals were killed. Lemon grass treatment significantly inhibited DNA adduct formation in both the colonic mucosa and the muscular layer but not in the liver. In addition, lemon grass extract treatment significantly inhibited ACF formation in both the initiation stage and the promotion stage. Especially in the promotion stage, lemon grass treatment inhibited the formation of larger ACF (with four or more crypts per focus), which was predictive of tumor incidence. Furthermore, lemon grass extract inhibited fecal beta-glucuronidase competitively and had antioxidant activity. These results suggest that the lemon grass extract inhibits the release of activated aglycon, methylazoxymethanol, from a glucuronide conjugate in the colon, and decreases the DNA adducts and ACF formation in the rat colon.

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Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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