Modulation of azaserine-induced pancreatic foci by phenolic antioxidants in rats

B. D. Roebuck, Denise L. MacMillan, Donna M. Bush, Thomas W. Kensler

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21 Scopus citations


Effects of the dietary phenolic antioxidants butylated hydroxyanisole [(BHA) CAS: 25013-16-5; (1, 1-dimethylethyl)-4-methoxyphenol] and butylated hydroxytoluene [(BHT) CAS: 128-37-0; 2, 6-di-tert-butyl-p-cresol] on pancreatic tumorigenesis were examined. Male LEW inbred rats were given injections of 30 mg azaserine [CAS: 115-02-6; diazoacetate (ester) serine] per kg body weight once a week for 3 weeks and maintained on either a control diet or 0.45% BHA- or 0.45% BHT-supplemented control diet throughout the initiation and post-initiation phases of the experiment. At 4 months post initiation, pancreatic tissue sections were quantitatively examined for the number and size of preneoplastic foci. BHT and BHA treatments reduced the number of acidophilic foci per pancreas by 32 and 48%, respectively, but were without effect on focal size. By contrast, basophilic foci were not subject to modulation by these antioxidants. A constellation of enzyme activities involved in carcinogen inactivation and known to be perturbed by antioxidant treatment was examined in liver and pancreas. The hepatic activities of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, glutathione reductase, and glutathione-S-transferases were markedly elevated while catalase and Superoxide dismutase activities were unchanged. Glutathione peroxidase activity was diminished. In the pancreas, only glutathione peroxidase activity was affected, and it was reduced in both the BHA and BHT treatment groups. Although the pancreas is refractory to the enzyme inductive effects of these antioxidants, morphometric analysis of foci demonstrated chemoprevention by BHA and BHT of azaserine-induced foci. Whether this reduction reflected inhibition of an initiation, postinitiation, or a combination of effects was not known.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1405-1410
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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