Journal Article

Inhibitory effect of a flavonoid antioxidant silymarin on benzoyl peroxide-induced tumor promotion, oxidative stress and inflammatory responses in SENCAR mouse skin

Jifu Zhao, Moushumi Lahiri-Chatterjee, Yogesh Sharma and Rajesh Agarwal

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 21, issue 4, pages 811-816
Published in print April 2000 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online April 2000 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/21.4.811
Inhibitory effect of a flavonoid antioxidant silymarin on benzoyl peroxide-induced tumor promotion, oxidative stress and inflammatory responses in SENCAR mouse skin

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In this communication, we investigate the preventive effect of a flavonoid antioxidant, silymarin, on free radical-generating skin tumor promoting agent benzoyl peroxide (BPO)-induced tumor promotion, oxidative stress and inflammatory responses in SENCAR mouse skin. Topical application of silymarin at a dose of 6 mg prior to BPO resulted in a highly significant protection against BPO-induced tumor promotion in 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-initiated SENCAR mouse skin. The preventive effect of silymarin was evident in terms of a 70% reduction (P < 0.001) in tumor incidence, a 67% reduction (P < 0.001) in tumor multiplicity and a 44% decrease (P < 0.001) in tumor volume/tumor. In oxidative stress studies, topical application of BPO resulted in 75, 87 and 61% depletion in superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase and glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activities in mouse epidermis, respectively. These decreases in antioxidant enzyme activities were significantly (P < 0.005–0.001) reversed by pre-application of silymarin in a dose-dependent manner. The observed effects of silymarin were 18–66, 32–72 and 20–67% protection against BPO-induced depletion of SOD, catalase and GPX activity in mouse epidermis, respectively. Silymarin pre-treatment also resulted in a dose-dependent inhibition (35–87%, P < 0.05–0.001) of BPO-induced lipid peroxidation in mouse epidermis. In inflammatory response studies, silymarin showed a strong inhibition of BPO-induced skin edema (62–85% inhibition, P < 0.001), myeloperoxidase activity (42–100% inhibition, P < 0.001) and interleukin-1α protein level in epidermis (36–81% inhibition, P < 0.001). These results, together with our other recent studies, suggest that silymarin could be useful in preventing a wide range of carcinogen and tumor promoter-induced cancers.

Keywords: BPO, benzoyl peroxide; DMBA, 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene; GPX, glutathione peroxidase; IL-1α, interleukin 1α; MDA, malondialdehyde; MPO, myeloperoxidase; ROS, reactive oxygen species; SOD, superoxide dismutase; TPA, 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate.

Journal Article.  4842 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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