Journal Article

The effect of lithocholic acid on proliferation and apoptosis during the early stages of colon carcinogenesis: differential effect on apoptosis in the presence of a colon carcinogen

Vassiliki Kozoni, George Tsioulias, Steven Shiff and Basil Rigas

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 21, issue 5, pages 999-1005
Published in print May 2000 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online May 2000 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/21.5.999
The effect of lithocholic acid on proliferation and apoptosis during the early stages of colon carcinogenesis: differential effect on apoptosis in the presence of a colon carcinogen

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Lithocholic acid (LCA) is implicated in human and experimental animal carcinogenesis. Its effect on apoptosis and proliferation of the colonic epithelium was studied in a 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH)-induced murine carcinogenesis model. Four groups of mice, control, LCA, DMH and DMH+LCA, were studied for 4 weeks, a period corresponding to early stages of carcinogenesis. Apoptosis (AI) and proliferation (PI) indices in the colon were determined by immunohistochemistry. LCA stimulated apoptosis [AI = 1.2 ± 0.3% (all values are the mean ± SEM) versus control 0.5 ± 0.1%, P < 0.05], as did DMH (4.3 ± 0.8%, P < 0.02). DMH increased apoptosis at the base of the crypt nearly 50-fold, with no effect at the lumenal third. In mice receiving DMH, LCA suppressed apoptosis almost completely (0.1 ± 0.03%); this suppression was complete at the lower two-thirds of the crypt (AI = 0) and 60% at the lumenal third. LCA increased proliferation (PI = 22.2 ± 4.6% versus 15.4 ± 1% in controls), but this did not reach statistical significance. DMH increased proliferation (PI = 34.6 ± 2.3%, P < 0.01). In mice receiving DMH, proliferation (41 ± 2.9%) was about two-thirds of the additive effect. LCA affected proliferation, mainly in the middle third of the crypt; DMH's effect was similar in distribution, but more pronounced. In mice receiving DMH, LCA shifts proliferation upward, extending it to the lumenal third of the crypt. LCA's main cell kinetic effect in the colon is on apoptosis; this effect differs in normal (stimulation) and pre-malignant colon (nearly complete suppression). LCA does not significantly stimulate proliferation in either normal or pre-malignant colon. The differential effect of LCA on apoptosis in the presence of a carcinogen partially explains its effect as a promoter on colon carcinogenesis in animal models, and may have important implications for human carcinogenesis.

Keywords: AI, apoptosis index; DMH, 1,2-dimethylhydrazine; LCA, lithocholic acid; PCNA, proliferating cell nuclear antigen; PI, proliferation index; RT, room temperature; TUNEL, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate-biotin nick end-labeling.

Journal Article.  5492 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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