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Inhibitory Effects of Lutein and Lycopene on Placental Glutathione S-Transferase-Positive Preneoplastic Lesions and DNA Strand Breakage Induced in Wistar Rats by the Resistant Hepatocyte Model of Hepatocarcinogenesis

Toledo, Luciana Passos, Ong, Thomas Prates, Pinho, Ana Lucia Galvao, Jordao, Alceu, Vanucchi, Helio, Moreno, Fernando Salvador
Nutrition and cancer 2003 v.47 no.1 pp. 62-69
DNA, body weight, chemoprevention, corn oil, glutathione, liver, lutein, lycopene, models, rats
Inhibitory effects of lutein (LUT) and lycopene (LYC) on hepatic preneoplastic lesions (PNLs) and DNA strand breakage induced in Wistar rats by the resistant hepatocyte (RH) model of hepatocarcinogenesis were investigated. Animals received by gavage during 8 consecutive weeks on alternate days 70 mg/kg body weight of LUT or LYC. Rats treated with only corn oil and submitted to this model were used as controls. At the end of the experiment, treatment of the animals with LUT or LYC resulted in an increase in the respective liver carotenoid concentrations (P < 0.05). Moreover, it tended to reduce the incidence, total number, and multiplicity of hepatocyte nodules compared with the control group, although the differences did not reach statistical significance. Animals treated with LUT or LYC presented also a lower number of hepatic placental glutathione S-transferase-positive (GST-P) PNLs (P < 0.05), which were smaller (P < 0.05) and occupied a smaller area of the liver section (P < 0.05). Finally, hepatic DNA strand breakage evaluated by the comet assay was lower (P < 0.05) in carotenoid-treated animals when compared with the control group. Therefore, the results indicate that LUT and LYC represent promising chemopreventive agents during hepatocarcinogenesis and whose anticarcinogenic actions could be related to a protection against DNA instability.