Journal Article

Effect of vegetable and carotenoid consumption on aberrant crypt multiplicity, a surrogate end-point marker for colorectal cancer in azoxymethane-induced rats

Philip J. Rijken, Wim G. Timmer, Aart J. van de Kooij, Ingrid M. van Benschop, Sheila A. Wiseman, Michiel Meijers and Lilian B.M. Tijburg

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 20, issue 12, pages 2267-2272
Published in print December 1999 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online December 1999 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Effect of vegetable and carotenoid consumption on aberrant crypt multiplicity, a surrogate end-point marker for colorectal cancer in azoxymethane-induced rats

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Epidemiological studies indicate that increased vegetable consumption reduces the risk of colorectal cancer mortality. In the present study we have investigated the effect of consumption of standard diets supplemented with freeze-dried vegetables (peas, spinach, sprouts and broccoli) and carotenoids (all-trans β-carotene and palm oil carotenoid extract) on surrogate end-point markers for colorectal cancer in an azoxymethane-induced rat model. Mean aberrant crypt multiplicity was reduced (19%) by the pea-supplemented diet only (P < 0.05). The vegetable-induced effect was more apparent in aberrant crypt foci with higher multiplicity. Intervention with diets supplemented with peas, spinach, sprouts and a mix of all vegetables reduced the number of foci with >2 aberrant crypts/focus by 37, 26, 23 and 26%, respectively (P < 0.05). Even more pronounced effects were observed in foci with >3 aberrant crypts/focus, with reductions of ~50% in the pea and spinach intervention groups. All-trans β-carotene and palm oil-derived carotenoids, supplied at similar doses to those expected in the vegetable diets, inhibited ACM only marginally. Aberrant crypt foci formation in groups fed a sprout-supplemented diet prior to or following azoxymethane treatment was similar, indicating that this effect is due to inhibition of promotion rather than initiation of colorectal carcinogenesis. Vegetable and carotenoid consumption did not affect in situ proliferation of colonic crypt cells, as assessed by semi-automated image analysis of bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU)-positive nuclei. BrdU-negative nuclei of colonic crypt cells were reduced slightly in the combined vegetable groups, as compared with the control (P < 0.05). These data: (i) are in line with epidemiological evidence regarding beneficial effects of vegetable consumption on colorectal carcinogenesis; (ii) indicate that consumption of several types of vegetables inhibits early post-initiation events in colorectal carcinogenesis; (iii) suggest that the vegetable-induced effect is more pronounced in advanced lesions; (iv) indicate that the carotenoid content of the vegetables (α- and β-carotene) contributes only marginally to the vegetable-induced effects.

Keywords: ACF, aberant crypt foci; ACM, aberrant crypt multiplicity; AOM, azoxymethane; BrdU, bromodeoxyuridine; TEAC, Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity.

Journal Article.  4611 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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