Journal Article

Zinc replenishment reduces esophageal cell proliferation and N-nitrosomethylbenzylamine (NMBA)-induced esophageal tumor incidence in zinc-deficient rats.

L Y Fong, J L Farber and P N Magee

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 19, issue 9, pages 1591-1596
Published in print January 1998 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online January 1998 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/19.9.1591
Zinc replenishment reduces esophageal cell proliferation and N-nitrosomethylbenzylamine (NMBA)-induced esophageal tumor incidence in zinc-deficient rats.

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Previous work has shown that sustained increased and decreased cell proliferation, induced by dietary zinc deficiency and caloric restriction respectively, influence the course of N-nitrosomethylbenzylamine (NMBA)-induced esophageal carcinogenesis in rats. The present study considered whether the increased cell proliferation and esophageal tumor incidence induced by zinc deficiency are reversed upon zinc replenishment. Weanling rats were maintained initially on a deficient diet containing 4 p.p.m. zinc. After 5 weeks, carcinogen-treated animals were given six intragastric doses of NMBA (2 mg/kg twice weekly). Controls were untreated. After the second NMBA dose, the rats were divided into three dietary groups. One group was continued on the deficient diet, while the other two groups were switched to diets containing either 75 or 200 p.p.m. zinc, with half of the members in each group fed ad libitum and half pair-fed with deficient rats. NMBA-untreated controls were similarly replenished. At various time points, esophageal cell proliferation was assessed in five animals from each group by immunohistochemical detection of cells in S phase, with in vivo 5-bromo-2'deoxyuridine labeling. At 11 weeks after the first dose, esophageal tumor incidence was greatly reduced, from 100% in the deficient group to 26 and 14% respectively in the replenished groups fed ad libitum 75 and 200 p.p.m. zinc and to 14 and 11% respectively in the replenished groups pair-fed 75 and 200 p.p.m. zinc. In addition, the number of tumors per esophagus was reduced from 9.93 +/- 4.25 in deficient rats, to a range of 0.11 +/- 0.31-0.30 +/- 0.54 in replenished animals. Following zinc replenishment, esophageal cell proliferation, as measured by labeling index (LI), the number of labeled cells and the total number of cells, was markedly decreased in NMBA-untreated and -treated esophagi as compared with those in corresponding deficient esophagi. Thus, the esophageal cell proliferation induced by zinc deficiency is reversed by zinc replenishment and replenished animals have a markedly lower incidence of esophageal tumors.

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Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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