A flavonoid-rich extract from bergamot juice prevents carcinogenesis in a genetic model of colorectal cancer, the Pirc rat (F344/NTac-Apc).
Eur J Nutr. 2019 Mar 27. Epub 2019 Mar 27. PMID: 30919084
PURPOSE: To determine the potential of a flavonoid-rich extract from bergamot juice (BJe) to prevent colorectal carcinogenesis (CRC) in vivo.
MAIN METHODS: Pirc rats (F344/NTac-Apc), mutated in Apc, the key gene in CRC, were treated with two different doses of BJe (35 mg/kg or 70 mg/kg body weight, respectively) mixed in the diet for 12 weeks. Then, the entire intestine was surgically removed and dissected for histological, immunohistochemical and molecular analyses.
RESULTS: Rats treated with BJe showed a significant dose-related reduction in the colon preneoplastic lesions mucin-depleted foci (MDF). Colon and small intestinal tumours were also significantly reduced in rats supplemented with 70 mg/kg of BJe. To elucidate the involved mechanisms, markers of inflammation and apoptosis were determined. Compared to controls, colon tumours from BJe 70 mg/kg-supplemented rats showed a significant down-regulation of inflammation-related genes (COX-2, iNOS, IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-10 and Arginase 1). Moreover, in colon tumours from rats fed with 70 mg/kg BJe, apoptosis was significantly higher than in controls. Up-regulation of p53 and down-regulation of survivin and p21 genes was also observed.
CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate a strong chemopreventive activity of BJe that, at least in part, is due to its pro-apoptotic and anti-inflammatory actions. This effect could be exploited as a strategy to prevent CRC in high-risk patients.