Chemoprevention of azoxymethane-induced rat colon carcinogenesis by dietary capsaicin and rotenone


Yoshitani SI, Tanaka T, Kohno H, Takashima S




Int J Oncol


The modifying effects of dietary administration of capsaicin, which is the principal pungent capsicum fruit, and rotenone, which is a naturally occurring pesticide derived from Derris and Lonchorcarpus species, on azoxymethane (AOM)-induced colon tumorigenesis were investigated in male F344 rats. Gavage with capsaicin and rotenone significantly elevated phase II enzymes, glutathione S-transferase (GST) and quinone reductase (QR), in the liver and colon. In an aberrant crypt foci (ACF) bioassay, feeding of capsaicin and rotenone at a dose of 500 ppm for 4 weeks significantly inhibited ACF formation induced by AOM (20 mg/kg body weight, once a week for 2 weeks). In a subsequent long-term study designed to confirm the protective effects of both compounds on ACF development, one group was treated with AOM alone and four other groups received the carcinogen treatment plus diets containing 500 ppm test compounds for 4 weeks (initiation phase) and for 34 weeks (post-initiation phase). Two groups were treated with capsaicin or rotenone alone (500 ppm in diet) and one group was maintained on the basal diet. At the termination of the study, dietary exposure of capsaicin during the initiation phase was found to significantly reduce the incidence of colonic adenocarcinoma (60% vs. 24%, 60% reduction, P=0.0407). Rotenone feeding during the post-initiation phase also reduced the frequency of colonic adenocarcinoma (60% vs. 19%, 68% reduction, P=0.0226). Our results suggest that two natural compounds, capsaicin and rotenone, might be useful for the prevention of human colon cancers.