Journal Article

Phytic acid in wheat bran affects colon morphology, cell differentiation and apoptosis

Mazda Jenab and Lilian U. Thompson

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 21, issue 8, pages 1547-1552
Published in print August 2000 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online August 2000 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/21.8.1547
Phytic acid in wheat bran affects colon morphology, cell differentiation and apoptosis

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Wheat bran (WB) and its component phytic acid (PA) have both been shown to decrease early biomarkers of colon carcinogenesis, i.e. the PCNA labeling index of cell proliferation and certain aberrant crypt foci parameters. However, it is not known how WB and PA alter other biomarkers of colon cancer risk, such as rate of apoptosis and degree of differentiation, or how they affect colon morphology. Thus, the objectives of this study were to determine the effects of WB on these parameters, to see if PA contributes to these effects and whether there is a difference between endogenous and exogenously added PA. Five groups of azoxymethane-treated male Fischer 344 rats were fed a basal control diet (BD) or BD supplemented with either 25% wheat bran, 25% dephytinized wheat bran (DWB), 25% DWB plus 1.0% PA or 1.0% PA for 100 days. The WB, DWB and PA diets significantly increased the rate of apoptosis and cell differentiation in the whole crypt and the top 40% of the crypt. The WB, DWB and PA diets also significantly increased cell apoptosis in the bottom 60% of the crypt, while all the treatment groups significantly increased cell differentiation versus the BD group in the bottom 60% of the crypt. In addition, the WB, DWB and PA diets decreased the number of crypts per millimeter of colon, while the DWB and PA diets also decreased crypt height measured as number of cells. It is concluded that WB, partly due to its dietary fiber and endogenous PA, and exogenous PA when added to a low fiber diet can increase cell apoptosis and differentiation and favorably affect colon morphology.

Keywords: ACF, aberrant crypt foci; AI, apoptotic index; BD, basal diet; DAB, diaminobenzidine tetrahydrochloride; DBA, Dolichos biflorus agglutin; DWB, dephytinized wheat bran; DWBPA, dephytinized wheat bran plus phytic acid; LI, labeling index; PA, phytic acid; PBS, phosphate-buffered saline; PCNA, proliferating cell nuclear antigen; SIM, sialomucin; SUM, sulphomucin; TUNEL, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end-labeling; WB, wheat bran.

Journal Article.  6499 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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