Natural chlorophyll but not chlorophyllin prevents heme-induced cytotoxic and hyperproliferative effects in rat colon

J. de Vogel, D.S.M.L. Jonker-Termont, M.B. Katan, R. van der Meer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Diets high in red meat and low in green vegetables are associated with an increased risk of colon cancer. In rats, dietary heme, mimicking red meat, increases colonic cytotoxicity and proliferation of the colonocytes, whereas addition of chlorophyll from green vegetables inhibits these heme-induced effects. Chlorophyllin is a water-soluble hydrolysis product of chlorophyll that inhibits the toxicity of many planar aromatic compounds. The present study investigated whether chlorophyllins could inhibit the heme-induced luminal cytotoxicity and colonic hyperproliferation as natural chlorophyll does. Rats were fed a purified control diet, the control diet supplemented with heme, or a heme diet with 1.2 mmol/kg diet of chlorophyllin, copper chlorophyllin, or natural chlorophyll for 14 d (n = 8/group). The cytotoxicity of fecal water was determined with an erythrocyte bioassay and colonic epithelial cell proliferation was quantified in vivo by [methyl-3H]thymidine incorporation into newly synthesized DNA. Exfoliation of colonocytes was measured as the amount of rat DNA in feces using quantitative PCR analysis. Heme caused a >50-fold increase in the cytotoxicity of the fecal water, a nearly 100% increase in proliferation, and almost total inhibition of exfoliation of the colonocytes. Furthermore, the addition of heme increased TBARS in fecal water. Chlorophyll, but not the chlorophyllins, completely prevented these heme-induced effects. In conclusion, inhibition of the heme-induced colonic cytotoxicity and epithelial cell turnover is specific for natural chlorophyll and cannot be mimicked by water-soluble chlorophyllins.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1995-2000
JournalThe Journal of Nutrition
Volume135
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2005

Keywords

  • aberrant crypt foci
  • colorectal-cancer
  • cell-proliferation
  • complex-formation
  • meat consumption
  • dna-adducts
  • red meat
  • absorption
  • risk
  • carcinogenesis

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