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Inhibitory effects of bitter melon (Momordica charantia Linn.) on bacterial mutagenesis and aberrant crypt focus formation in the rat colon


Chiampanichayakul S, Kataoka K, Arimochi H, Thumvijit S, Kuwahara T, Nakayama H, et al




J Med Invest


Antimutagenicity and chemopreventive activity of an 80%-ethanol extract of bitter melon (Momordica charantia Linn.) against the formation of azoxymethane (AOM)-induced aberrant crypt foci (ACF) was investigated. The bitter melon extract was nonmutagenic and inhibited the mutagenicity of heterocyclic amines 2-amino-3,4-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline and 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine, and aflatoxin B1 in the Salmonella mutation assay. To examine the inhibitory effect of bitter melon on AOM-induced ACF formation, male F344 rats were fed various concentrations of the extract (0.1, 0.5, and 1.0 g/kg body weight) for five weeks during the initiation stage. One week after the administration of the plant extract, rats were subcutaneously given AOM at 15 mg/kg body weight once a week for two weeks. Three rats in each group were sacrificed 12 hr after the second AOM injection to analyze DNA adducts, O6-methylguanine (O6-meG) and N7-methylguanine in the liver and colon. The remaining rats were sacrificed 3 weeks after the second AOM injection to observe ACF. To examine the inhibitory effect of the extract on ACF formation in the postinitiation stage, rats were fed the extract at 0.1 and 1.0 g/kg body weight for 12 weeks starting two weeks after the second AOM injection. Treatment with bitter melon extract significantly inhibited ACF formation in the colon during the initiation stage and dose-dependently decreased the average of O6-meG DNA adduct in the colonic mucosa. During the postinitiation stage, bitter melon extract, at 1.0 g/kg body weight, significantly inhibited ACF formation in the colon, especially the formation of ACF with four or more crypts per focus. These findings suggest that bitter melon is a possible chemopreventive agent against colon carcinogenesis.

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