Polyethylene glycol inhibits intestinal neoplasia and induces epithelial apoptosis in Apc(min) mice.

Efficacy of a safe and clinically utilized polyethylene glycol formulation (PEG-3350) to suppress intestinal tumors was investigated in the Apc(min) mouse-model of experimental carcinogenesis. Furthermore, based on our previous finding on the induction of apoptosis in HT-29 cells by PEG, we evaluated its ability to stimulate epithelial cell apoptosis in both Apc(min) mouse as well as AOM-treated rat as a potential molecular mechanism of chemoprevention. Twenty-two Apc(min) mice were randomized equally to PEG or vehicle (control) supplementation. Tumors were scored and uninvolved intestinal mucosal apoptosis was assayed using a modified terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated nick end-labeling (TUNEL) assay and by immunohistochemical detection of cleaved caspase-3. Supplementation of Apc(min) mice with 10% PEG 3350 (in drinking water) resulted in a 48% (P<0.05) reduction in intestinal tumor burden and induced 2-3 fold increase in mucosal apoptosis. Dietary supplementation of polyethylene glycol (5%) also stimulated colonic mucosal apoptosis 4-5 fold in AOM-treated rats, the regimen that we previously reported to reduce tumor burden by 76% (P<0.05). In summary, we demonstrate, for the first time, that PEG does protect against Apc(min) mouse tumorigenesis. The correlation between pro-apoptotic actions and chemopreventive efficacy of PEG in these models strongly implicates induction of apoptosis as one of the impending mechanisms of chemoprevention.

Ansari S, Bissonnette M, DiBaise JK, Gulizia J, Hart J, Karolski WJ, Madugula M, Roy HK, Wali RK


Cancer Lett., 2004, 215 (1)

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