The modifying effects of dietary administration of an herb, Terminalia catappa (TC), were investigated on rat colon carcinogenesis induced by a carcinogen azoxymethane (AOM). The number of aberrant crypt foci (ACF) and β-catenin accumulated crypts (BCACs) in the colon, and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) labelling index in the colonic epithelium were examined in a total of 36 male F344 rats. All animals were randomly divided into five experimental groups (4–10 rats in each group). At 6 weeks of age, rats in groups 1, 2 and 3 were given s.c. injections of AOM once a week for 2 weeks at a concentration of 20 mg/kg body weight. One week before the first injection of AOM, rats in groups 2 and 3 were fed a diet containing 0.02 and 0.1% TC, respectively, throughout the experiment. Rats in group 4 were fed a diet containing 0.1% TC. Rats in group 5 were served as untreated controls. All animals were sacrificed at the experimental week 5 after the start of the experiment. Oral administration of TC at both doses significantly decreased the numbers of both ACF/colon/rat (P<0.05 for 0.02% TC, P<0.005 for 0.1% TC) and BCAC/cm2/rat (P<0.05 for both 0.02 and 0.1% TC), when compared with the control group (group 1). Colonic PCNA labelling index in groups 2 and 3 was also significantly lower than that in group 1 (P<0.001 for 0.02% TC, P<0.005 for 0.1% TC). These results suggest that TC has a potent short-term chemopreventive effect on biomarkers of colon carcinogenesis and this effect may be associated with the inhibition of the development of ACF and BCACs.
2Laboratory of Physiology and Pharmacology
3Division of Pathology, University of the Ryukyus Faculty of Medicine, 207 Uehara Nishihara-cho, Okinawa 903–0215, Japan
4Research & Development Division, Okinawa Industrial Technology Center (OITC), 12–2 Suzaki, Gushikawa, Okinawa 904–2234, Japan
Correspondence to: M Suzui. Fax: (+81) 98 895 1406.
Received 13 February 2004 Accepted 13 July 2004