Chemoprevention of azoxymethane/dextran sodium sulfate-induced mouse colon carcinogenesis by freeze-dried yam sanyaku and its constituent diosgenin

Noriyuki Miyoshi, Tomoki Nagasawa, Ryota Mabuchi, Yumiko Yasui, Keiji Wakabayashi, Takuji Tanaka, Hiroshi Ohshima
Cancer Prevention Research 2011, 4 (6): 924-34
The effects of sanyaku, a traditional Chinese medicine [freeze-dried powder of the yam tuber (Dioscorea)], and its major steroidal saponin constituent, diosgenin, on colon carcinogenesis were investigated. Male ICR mice were subjected to a single intraperitoneal injection of azoxymethane (AOM; 10 mg/kg body weight) followed by administration of 1.5% dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) in drinking water for 7 days to establish carcinogenesis. Commercial diosgenin or sanyaku, which contained diosgenin at 63.8 ± 1.2 mg/kg dry weight, was given in the diet at 20, 100, or 500 mg/kg for 17 weeks. Groups of mice that received diosgenin or sanyaku at all doses yielded significantly less number of colon tumors compared with the AOM/DSS-treated mice. Occurrence of colonic mucosal ulcer and dysplastic crypt induced by AOM/DSS treatment was also significantly decreased by the administration of diosgenin and sanyaku, which was in accordance with the significant reduction of AOM/DSS-mediated increases in expression of inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β by diosgenin and sanyaku. Furthermore, elevated levels of serum triglyceride in the AOM/DSS-treated mice tended to be reduced in mice given diosgenin and sanyaku. Microarray and real-time reverse transcriptase PCR analyses revealed that diosgenin administration increased 12-fold the expression of lipoprotein lipase, which may contribute to reduced serum triglyceride levels. Other genes altered by diosgenin included those associated with antioxidative stress responses and apoptosis, such as heme oxygenase-1, superoxide dismutase-3, and caspase-6. Our results imply that the Chinese medicine sanyaku and the tubers of various yams containing diosgenin as food could be ingested to prevent colon carcinogenesis in humans.

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