Rat colonic lipid peroxidation and antioxidant status: the effects of dietary luteolin on 1,2-dimethylhydrazine challenge

Vaiyapuri Manju, Vairappan Balasubramaniyan, Namasivayam Nalini
Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters 2005, 10 (3): 535-51
Colon cancer is the third most common cancer and second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. A number of recent articles demonstrate the importance of natural products as cancer chemopreventive agents. In this study, we evaluated the chemopreventive efficacy of luteolin, a flavonoid, on tissue lipid peroxidation and antioxidant status, which are used as biomarkers in DMH-induced experimental colon carcinogenesis. Rats were given a weekly subcutaneous injection of DMH at a dose of 20 mg/kg body weight for 15 weeks. Luteolin (0.2 mg/kg body weight/everyday p.o.) was given to the DMH-treated rats at the initiation and post-initiation stages of carcinogenesis. The animals were killed after 30 weeks. After a total experimental period of 32 weeks (including 2 weeks of acclimatization), tumor incidence was 100% in DMH-treated rats. In those DMH-treated rats that had received luteolin during the initiation or post-initiation stages of colon carcinogenesis, the incidence of cancer and the colon tumor size was significantly reduced as compared to that for DMH-treated rats not receiving luteolin. In the presence of DMH, relative to the results for the control rats, there were decreased levels of lipid peroxidation, as denoted by thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), conjugated dienes and lipid hydroperoxides, decreased activities of the enzymic antioxidants superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT), and elevated levels of glutathione and the glutathione-dependent enzymes reduced glutathione (GSH), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and glutathione reductase (GR), and of the non-enzymic antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin E. Our study shows that intragastric administration of luteolin inhibits colon carcinogenesis, not only by modulating lipid peroxidation and antioxidant status, but also by preventing DMH-induced histopathological changes. Our results thus indicate that luteolin could act as a potent chemopreventive agent for colon carcinogenesis.

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