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LE Magazine July 2003



Chemoprevention of colon cancer by Korean food plant components.

Inducible cyclooxygenase (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS/NOS-2) play pivotal roles as mediators of inflammation involved in early steps of carcinogenesis in certain organs. Therefore, chemoprevention is theoretically possible through inhibition of COX-2 and/or iNOS. In the present study, we examined the chemopreventive effects of indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a constituent of cruciferous vegetables (the family of Cruciferae) such as cabbages, cauliflowers and broccoli on the multiple intestinal neoplasia (Min) genetic mouse model, and on mouse colon carcinogenesis induced by azoxymethane (AOM). The consumption of cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts has been shown to have cancer chemopreventive effects in humans and experimental animals. I3C has been shown to exert a cancer chemopreventive influence in liver, colon, and mammary tissue when given before or concurrent with exposure to a carcinogen. Powdered AIN-76A diets (Harlan Teklad Research Diet, Madison, USA) containing 100 or 300 ppm I3C (group 1 or 2) or the same pellet diets without supplement (group 3) were fed to six-week-old male C57BL/6J-Apc(Min)(/+) (Min/+) mice (The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME, USA) for 10 weeks. In addition the same diets were given to wild-type normal C57BL/6J-Apc(Min)(/+) littermates after AOM initiation (groups 4-7: 10 mice in each group) for 32 weeks from week four. At 16 weeks of age, all Min/+ mice (groups 1-3) were sacrificed for assessment of intestinal polyp development. The incidences of the colonic adenomatous polyps in the groups 1-3 were 60% (12/20), 60% (15/25) and 84% (21/25), respectively. A decreasing tendency in multiplicities of the colonic adenomatous polyps in group 1 (I3C 100 ppm; 0.85 +/- 0.22; 61%) and group 2 (I3C 300 ppm; 1.32 +/- 0.28; 94%) was observed when compared with group 3 (control; 1.40 +/- 0.21; 100%). Total number of aberrant crypt foci (ACF)/colon or aberrant crypts (AC)/colon in wild-type mice of group 4 or 5 were decreased significantly compared with those of the AOM alone group (group 6) (P < 0.01). These results suggest that I3C may be a potential chemopreventive agent for colon cancer.

Mutat Res 2003 Feb-Mar;523-524:99-107

Modulation of vinca-alkaloid induced P-glycoprotein expression by indole-3-carbinol.

The over-expression of mdr-1 gene transcript P-glycoprotein (P-gp), responsible for multiple drug resistance, is one of the major obstacles in cancer chemotherapy. In the present study, indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a well-known chemopreventive agent present in cruciferous vegetables, has been evaluated for its potential to modulate the over-expression of P-gp induced by vinblastine or vincristine, which are known inducers of mdr-1 gene. The results revealed that I3C significantly reversed the over-expression of P-gp in vinca-alkaloid induced drug resistance as evident by Western blotting using monoclonal antibody (clone JSB1). Quantization of immunostained tissue sections using image analysis technique revealed that vinblastine/vincristine induced overexpression of P-gp was effectively reversed by I3C. The present investigation suggests that I3C can significantly inhibit the P-gp over-expression and may have utility as a dietary adjuvant in the treatment of cancer for the reversal of multiple drug resistance.

Cancer Lett 2003 Jan 28;189(2):167-73

Serum total homocysteine increases with the rapid proliferation rate of tumor cells and decline upon cell death: a potential new tumor marker.

BACKGROUND: We were interested to know why cancer patients are frequently associated with elevated circulating total homocysteine (tHcy) even though they are not treated with anti-folate drugs. METHODS: We employed tissue cultures to compare both the homocysteine (Hcy)-released and production of tumor markers between tumor and normal cell lines. RESULTS: We detected much higher concentrations of homocysteine (Hcy) released by the tumor cells. However, much less difference was found between normal and tumor cell lines when Hcy concentration was expressed per the same number of cells. During the cell culture, the increase of Hcy and the increase of tumor marker concentration paralleled each other for the first seven days. After the seventh day of the culture when cells started dying, tumor markers continued to rise, whereas levels of Hcy and cell numbers leveled off. We found that the serum concentration of Hcy fluctuated in circulation coinciding with that of tumor marker in individual cancer patients unless taking anti-neoplastic drug. CONCLUSIONS: The elevation of tHcy concentration may be caused by the rapid tumor cell proliferation and reflect only the number of live cells. Serum Hcy may be a potentially useful tumor marker to monitor tumor activity.

Clin Chim Acta 2002 Jul;321(1-2):55-62

Effect of some indole derivatives on xenobiotic metabolism and xenobiotic-induced toxicity in cultured rat liver slices.

In this study the effect of some indole derivatives on xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes and xenobiotic-induced toxicity has been examined in cultured precision-cut liver slices from male Sprague-Dawley rats. While treatment of rat liver slices for 72 hours with 2-200 microM of either indole-3-carbinol (I3C) or indole-3-acetonitrile (3-ICN) had little effect on cytochrome P-450 (CYP)-dependent enzyme activities, enzyme induction was observed after in vivo administration of I3C. The treatment of rat liver slices with 50 microM 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM; a dimer derived from I3C under acidic conditions) for 72 hours resulted in a marked induction of CYP-dependent enzyme activities. DIM appears to be a mixed inducer of CYP in rat liver slices having effects on CYP1A, CYP2B and CYP3A subfamily isoforms. Small increases in liver slice reduced glutathione levels and glutathione S-transferase activity were also observed after DIM treatment. While aflatoxin B1 and monocrotaline produced a concentration-dependent inhibition of protein synthesis in 72-hour-cultured rat liver slices, cytotoxicity was markedly reduced in liver slices cultured with 50 microM DIM. These results demonstrate that cultured rat liver slices may be employed to evaluate the effects of chemicals derived from cruciferous and other vegetables on CYP isoforms. In addition, liver slices can also be utilized to examine the ability of such chemicals to modulate xenobiotic-induced toxicity.

Food Chem Toxicol 1999 Jun;37(6):609-18

Prevention of chromosomal aberration in mouse bone marrow by indole-3-carbinol.

In this study, we report the protective effect of indole-3-carbinol (I3C), one of the glucobrassicin derivative isolated from cruciferous vegetables against cyclophosphamide- induced chromosomal aberrations in mouse bone marrow cells. The three test doses namely 1000, 500 and 250 mg/kg b.wt. of I3C provided protection when given 48 h prior to the single i.p. administration of cyclophosphamide (50 mg/kg). I3C alone did not induce chromosomal aberrations at the test doses of 1000 and 500 mg/kg b.wt. Thus, tested glucobrassicin derivative seems to have a preventive potential against cyclophosphamide induced chromosomal aberrations in Swiss mouse bone marrow cells at the doses tested.

Toxicol Lett 1999 Jun 1;106(2-3):137-41

Serum folate, homocysteine and colorectal cancer risk in women: a nested case-control study.

Accumulating evidence suggests that folate, which is plentiful in vegetables and fruits, may be protective against colorectal cancer. The authors have studied the relationship of baseline levels of serum folate and homocysteine to the subsequent risk of colorectal cancer in a nested case-control study including 105 cases and 523 matched controls from the New York University Women's Health Study cohort. In univariate analyses, the cases had lower serum folate and higher serum homocysteine levels than controls. The difference was more significant for folate (P < 0.001) than for homocysteine (P = 0.04). After adjusting for potential confounders, the risk of colorectal cancer in the subjects in the highest quartile of serum folate was half that of those in the lowest quartile (odds ratio, OR = 0.52, 95% confidence interval, CI = 0.27-0.97, P-value for trend = 0.04). The OR for the highest quartile of homocysteine, relative to the lowest quartile, was 1.72 (95% CI = 0.83-3.65, P-value for trend = 0.09). In addition, the risk of colorectal cancer was almost twice as high in subjects with below-median serum folate and above-median total alcohol intake compared with those with above-median serum folate and below-median alcohol consumption (OR = 1.99, 95% CI = 0.92-4.29). The potentially protective effects of folate need to be confirmed in clinical trials.

Br J Cancer 1999 Apr;79(11-12):1917-22

The effect of indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane on a prostate cancer cell line.

BACKGROUND: Cruciferous vegetable consumption is inversely related to the incidence of prostate cancer. We examined the effect of indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and of sulforaphane (constituents of cruciferous vegetables) on cell proliferation of a PC-3 prostate cancer cell line, in order to observe if an inhibitory effect might be detected in vitro. METHODS: PC-3 prostate cancer cells were cultured in 96-well microtitre plates. Indole-3-carbinol concentrations ranging from 0.1 mmol/L to 0.8 mmol/L or sulforaphane concentrations ranging from 0.01 mmol/L to 0.06 mmol/L were added to the wells. Cell proliferation was measured by colorimetric assay and results were based on the mean value of triplicate experiments. Data are presented as medians and interquartile ranges and were analysed using the Mann-Whitney U-test. RESULTS: Cell proliferation in PC-3 prostate cancer cells was significantly inhibited by I3C and sulforaphane at media concentrations of 0.2 mmol/L and 0.02 mmol/L, respectively. CONCLUSION: Both compounds inhibited the proliferation of prostate cancer cells in a dose-dependant manner. These findings may help explain the observed protective effect of cruciferous vegetables in relation to prostate cancer.

ANZ J Surg 2003 Mar;73(3):154-6

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