Protective Role of Aspirin, Vitamin C, and Zinc and their Effects on Zinc Status in the DMH-Induced Colon Carcinoma Model


Chemoprotection refers to the use of specific natural or synthetic chemical agents to suppress or prevent theprogression to cancer. The purpose of this study is to assess the protective effect of aspirin, vitamin C or zinc ina dimethyl hydrazine (DMH) colon carcinoma model in rats and to investigate the effect of these supplementson changes associated with colonic zinc status. Rats were randomly divided into three groups, group 1 (aspirin),group 2 (vitamin C) and group 3 (zinc), each being subdivided into two groups and given subcutaneous injectionof DMH (30 mg/kg body wt) twice a week for 3 months and sacrificed at 4 months (A-precancer model) and6 months (B-cancer model). Groups 1, 2, 3 were simultaneously given aspirin, vitamin C, or zinc supplementrespectively from the beginning till the end of the study. It was observed that 87.5% of rats co-treated with aspirinor vitamin C showed normal colonic histology, along with a significant decrease in colonic tissue zinc at bothtime points. Rats co-treated with zinc showed 100% reduction in tumor incidence with no significant change incolonic tissue zinc. Plasma zinc, colonic CuZnSOD (copper-zinc superoxide dismutase) and alkaline phosphataseactivity showed no significant changes in all 3 cotreated groups. These results suggest that aspirin, vitamin Cor zinc given separately, exert a chemoprotective effect against chemically induced DMH colonic preneoplasticprogression and colonic carcinogenesis in rats. The inhibitory effects are associated with maintaining the colonictissue zinc levels and zinc enzymes at near normal without significant changes.