The effects of varying the type of dietary fat in the choline-deficient (CD) diet on the development of γ-glutamyltranspeptidase (GGT)-positive foci in the liver of carcinogen-treated rats were investigated, and the results were correlated with the extent of membrane lipid peroxidation induced by the diets. Male Sprague Dawley rats were initiated with a single dose of diethylnitrosamine. Thereafter, groups of rats were fed choline-supplemented or CD diets in which the amount of saturated fat was varied by using hydrogenated vegetable oil (Primex) and corn oil (CO), either alone or in combination. The number and size of GGT-positive foci induced by the CD diet with CO as the sole source of fat were larger than those induced by the diet containing mixtures of Primex and CO. The CD diet with Primex alone was the least effective in inducing GGT-positive foci. Peroxidation of liver microsomal membrane lipids in rats fed regular CD or CD:CO diets was examined by determining the formation of conjugated dienes. The generation of diene conjugate in rats fed a CD:CO diet was evident after 2 days of the diet feeding, and the levels increased at 1 and 2 weeks. No significant diene conjugate was demonstrated in rats fed a regular CD diet for 2 days. However, after 1 and 2 weeks, there was generation of diene conjugate, the levels of which were lower in rats fed the CD diet than those on a CD:CO diet. Addition of an antioxidant, 0.25% butylated hydroxytoluene, to both CD and CD:CO diets abolished the generation of diene conjugate in rat liver microsomal membranes and markedly inhibited the promotion of GGT-positive foci in the liver of diethylnitrosamine-initiated rats. The results suggest that membrane lipid peroxidation in the liver may be related to the promotion of the induction of GGT-positive foci by a CD diet. The enhanced promotion by the inclusion of a higher level of polyunsaturated fat in the diet may be, in part, due to its greater susceptibility to peroxidation.


This work was supported by grants awarded by the National Cancer Institute, Department of Health and Human Services (CA 26556), and by the Samuel Emma Winters Foundation.

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