Formation of Early Lesions in 1,2-dimethylhydrazine-induced Colon Carcinogenesis in Rats


Aberrant crypt foci (ACF) are recognized as preneoplastic lesions for colon cancer, and ACF in rodents arewidely used as an intermediate biomarker to predict tumorigenicity in the colon. However, a lack of correlationsbetween the formation of ACF and the development of colonic tumors has been reported in several studies. Forexample, 2-(carboxyphenyl) retinamide (2-CPR) and genistein were reported to inhibit the carcinogen-inducedformation of ACF, whereas both of them were later found to enhance colon tumorigenesis in rats treated withazoxymethane (AOM). Recently, we have identified β-catenin-accumulated crypts (BCAC) in the colon of ratsshortly after administration of AOM, and provided evidence that these are independent early lesions of classicalACF, and BCAC might be direct precursors for colon cancers. In the present study, we performed a comparativeanalysis of the modifying effects of 2-CPR and genistein on 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH)-induced BCAC andACF in male F344 rats. Dietary administration of 2-CPR (315 ppm) significantly reduced the total number,multiplicity and size of ACF in DMH-exposed colonic mucosa, while genistein (250 ppm) had no significant effectson DMH-induced ACF formation. In contrast, both of 2-CPR and genistein significantly enhanced the multiplicityand size of DMH-induced BCAC when compared with DMH alone group. In addition, both 2-CPR and genisteinsignificantly increased the proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) index preferentially in BCAC. Togetherwith previous findings that 2-CPR and genistein are tumor promoters in the colon, our results support the conceptthat BCAC are precursors of colon tumors and suggest that these lesions are more reliable short-term biomarkersfor colon carcinogenesis in rodents than ACF.