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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Phytol is a novel tumor promoter on ICR mouse skin.

Phytol is a branched, long-chain aliphatic alcohol which has various biological effects. In this study, we examined phytol as a tumor promoter in a mouse skin initiation-promotion model, and compared its promotion activity with that of 12-O-tetradecanoyl phorbol-13-acetate (TPA). Female ICR mice, 7 weeks of age, were initiated with 100 microg of 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene, and were then topically promoted twice a week for 16 weeks with 100 mg of phytol or with 2.5 microg of TPA. In this model 95% of animals treated with phytol developed skin tumors within 16 weeks. The average number of lesions per mouse treated with phytol was significantly lower than that in mice treated with TPA, and this significant difference continued up to 16 weeks after the end of promotion treatment. Characterization of hyperplasia 48 h after topical application of agents showed that epidermal thickness and vertical thickness following topical application of phytol were significantly increased compared with vehicle controls, but were significantly smaller than in animals treated with TPA. Ornithine decarboxylase ( ODC) activity following topical application of phytol was increased in a dose-dependent manner and showed a weak, delayed induction (which was maximal 11-12 h after treatment) as compared with the case of TPA. The specific binding of [3H]phorbol-12,13-dibutyrate (PDBU) by JB6 cells was not inhibited by phytol at concentrations up to 1 mM. These results indicate that phytol has a weak tumor promoter activity compared to TPA and is a non-TPA-type tumor promoter in this model of mouse skin carcinogenesis.[1]


  1. Phytol is a novel tumor promoter on ICR mouse skin. Kagoura, M., Matsui, C., Morohashi, M. Jpn. J. Cancer Res. (1999) [Pubmed]
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