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

Role of reactive oxygen in synthetic estrogen induction of hepatocellular carcinomas in rats and preventive effect of vitamins.

We have established an experimental model of oral contraceptive-induced hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) in female Wistar rats, revealing that ethynylestradiol (EE) and norethindrone acetate have actions as both initiators and promoters. The present time-sequence study was undertaken to clarify the role of free radicals in estrogen induction of HCC by measuring detoxifying enzyme activities and levels of 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OH-dG) and by assessing the effects of concomitant vitamin C, vitamin E or beta-carotene administration on hepatocarcinogenesis. During 12 months oral administration of EE (0.075 or 0.75 mg/day), the 8-OH-dG levels reached peak values after 1 month, when they were significantly elevated as compared with the controls. Glutathione peroxidase demonstrated a tendency to decrease. Histologically, pre-neoplastic lesions assessed by immunohistochemical staining for placental glutathione S-transferase (GST-P) were first observed at 2 months in the groups given 0.075 and 0.75 mg/day of EE alone, with incidences of HCC at 12 months being 8.7% and 38.5% respectively. Combined administration of vitamins with 0.075 mg EE/day reduced the elevation of the 8-OH-dG levels. GST-P-positive lesions were first observed at 4 months in the vitamin E group and at 6 months in the vitamin C and beta-carotene groups. As compared with the value in the 0.075 mg EE alone group, vitamin administration significantly reduced the numbers of GST-P-positive foci after 12 months of treatment. The incidences of HCC at 12 months were 0% in the vitamin C group, 4.5% in the vitamin E group and 4.8% in the beta-carotene group, i.e. administration of the vitamins inhibited the development of GST-P-positive foci, with suppression of HCC. The results thus suggest that free radicals play an important role in the induction of HCC by estrogen.[1]


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