Journal Article

Effect of folic acid supplementation on the progression of colorectal aberrant crypt foci

Gillian M. Lindzon, Alan Medline, Kyoung-Jin Sohn, Flore Depeint, Ruth Croxford and Young-In Kim

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 30, issue 9, pages 1536-1543
Published in print September 2009 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online June 2009 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgp152
Effect of folic acid supplementation on the progression of colorectal aberrant crypt foci

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Whether or not folic acid supplementation promotes the progression of colorectal preneoplastic lesions to cancer is an important public health issue, given mandatory fortification and widespread supplemental use of folic acid in North America. We investigated the effect of folic acid supplementation on the progression of aberrant crypt foci (ACF), the earliest precursor of colorectal cancer. Male Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 152) were placed on a control diet (2 mg folic acid/kg diet) at weaning and ACF were induced by azoxymethane. Six weeks post-ACF induction, rats were randomized to receive 0, 2, 5 or 8 mg folic acid/kg diet. At 34 weeks of age, rats were killed, and colorectal tumor parameters, plasma folate and homocysteine (a sensitive inverse indicator of tissue folate status) concentrations and rectal epithelial proliferation were determined. Although the number of ACF increased as dietary folic acid levels increased (P = 0.015), the incidence of colorectal tumors did not differ significantly among the four dietary groups. However, tumor multiplicity was positively correlated with dietary folic acid levels (r = 0.32; P = 0.002) and inversely with plasma homocysteine concentrations (r = −0.32; P = 0.005). Tumor burden was positively correlated with dietary folic acid levels (r = 0.35; P = 0.001) and plasma folate concentrations (r = 0.33; P = 0.008) and inversely with plasma homocysteine concentrations (r = −0.42; P < 0.001). Rectal epithelial proliferation was positively correlated with dietary folic acid levels (r = 0.39; P < 0.001) and plasma folate concentrations (r = 0.34; P < 0.001) and inversely with plasma homocysteine concentrations (r = −0.37; P < 0.001). Our data suggest that folic acid supplementation may promote the progression of ACF to colorectal tumors.

Journal Article.  6853 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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