Effects of Rhinacanthus nasutus Kurz on Colon Carcinogenesis in Mice


Rhinacanthus nasutus Kurz., a Thai medicinal plant which possess antiproliferative and pro-apoptotic effectson human cancer cells, was examined for chemopreventive potential against colonic neoplasms induced byazoxymethane (AOM) combined with dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) in mice. Male ICR mice were given a singleintraperitoneal administration of AOM (10 mg/kg body weight) followed by 2% DSS in their drinking waterfor a week. Water extract of the roots of R. nasutus (RNR) was given to the animals intragastrically daily in theinitiation and promotion phases. The one hundred mice were divided into 8 groups, one group treated withAOM plus DSS serving as a control. Four other groups received AOM/DSS and RNR at 100 or 500 mg/kg bodyweight for 5 weeks (initiation phase study) and for 14 weeks (promotion phase study). Another two groups weregiven RNR alone at 100 and 500 mg/kg body weight and the last group was maintained untreated. At the end ofthe study, we found that the incidence and multiplicity of colonic tumors in mice fed with RNR both at 100 and500 mg/kg body weight in initiation phase were higher than those in the control group. Moreover, RNR feedingduring the promotion phase also gave similar results. Our results suggest that water extract of the roots of R.nasutus Kurz. has no preventive potential against colon carcinogenesis induced by AOM/DSS in mice, ratherincreasing the incidence of colonic tumors when given during initiation and promotion phases. Further study onRNR should provide more information on mechanisms of its tumor promotion activity.