Journal Article

Mucin-depleted foci (MDF) in the colon of rats treated with azoxymethane (AOM) are useful biomarkers for colon carcinogenesis

Angelo Pietro Femia, Piero Dolara and Giovanna Caderni

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 25, issue 2, pages 277-281
Published in print February 2004 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online February 2004 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgh005
Mucin-depleted foci (MDF) in the colon of rats treated with azoxymethane (AOM) are useful biomarkers for colon carcinogenesis

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Crypt foci with absent or scant mucous production (mucin-depleted foci, MDF) were recently described by our group in the colon of azoxymethane (AOM)-treated rats. Since MDF are dysplastic and easy to quantify, we think that MDF are pre-neoplastic lesions that could be used as biomarkers for carcinogenesis. To test this hypothesis, we studied MDF in azoxymethane (AOM)-initiated rats treated with cholic acid (CHA), a promoter of colon carcinogenesis or with piroxicam (PXC), a colon cancer-inhibiting drug. Aberrant crypt foci (ACF) were determined as well. F344 male rats were treated with AOM (15 mg/kg × 2, s.c.) and then divided into: controls, which were fed AIN76 diet; CHA group, which was fed AIN76 diet containing CHA 0.5% w/w; PXC group, which was fed AIN76 diet containing PXC 0.02% w/w. Ten weeks after the first dose of AOM, the total number of MDF was significantly increased in rats treated with CHA (P < 0.05) and drastically reduced (P < 0.01) in rats treated with PXC (MDF/colon were 6.10 ± 1.26, 10.59 ± 1.96 and 1.31 ± 0.21 in controls, CHA and PXC groups, respectively, means ± SE). The multiplicity of MDF was also increased in CHA-treated rats. On the contrary, ACF multiplicity was significantly decreased by CHA. In PXC-treated rats there were fewer ACF with lower multiplicity. The effect of PXC was also investigated 15 weeks after the first AOM dose and the results showed that the total number of MDF in the PXC group was significantly lower than in controls. The number of ‘large’ MDF, formed by 12 or more crypts, was also reduced (P < 0.01) by PXC (‘large’ MDF were 1.7 ± 0.5 and 0.4 ± 0.2 in control and PXC groups, respectively). Since CHA promotes and PXC reduces colon cancer, MDF are correlated with carcinogenesis and can be proposed as endpoints to study the modulation of colon carcinogenesis in short-term experiments.

Keywords: ACF, aberrant crypt foci; AOM, azoxymethane; BCAC, β-catenin accumulated crypts; CHA, cholic acid; MB, methylene blue; MDF, mucin-depleted foci; PXC, piroxicam

Journal Article.  3849 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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