The dose dependence of NaHCO3 promotion of urinary bladder carcinogenesis and the effects of additional l-ascorbic acid (AsA) administration were investigated subsequent to initiation. Male F344 rats were given 0.05% N-butyl-N-(4-hydroxybutyl)nitrosamine in their drinking water for 4 weeks and then, starting 3 days after cessation of carcinogen treatment, received basal diet containing NaHCO3 at levels of 0, 0.375, 0.75, 1.5, and 3.0% with or without a 5% AsA supplement for 32 weeks. NaHCO3 dose-dependently increased the incidence and numbers of urinary bladder carcinomas in rats initiated with N-butyl-N-(4-hydroxybutyl)nitrosamine. 5% AsA, while itself exerting no promoting effect, amplified the enhancing influence of NaHCO3 on induction of urinary bladder carcinomas. The same dose-dependent elevation of urinary pH and Na+ concentration was associated with NaHCO3 treatment with or without AsA. NaHCO3 significantly increased DNA synthesis in the urinary bladder epithelium and the additional treatment with AsA was associated with a significant further elevation. Thus, increased urinary pH and Na+ concentrations appear to play important roles in NaHCO3 promotion and AsA amplified this promotion. NaHCO3 treatment, with or without AsA, induced cellular proliferation, although it is unclear whether this is an essential factor.

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This work was supported by Grants-in-Aid for Cancer Research from the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, and the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Japan; by a Grant-in-Aid from the Ministry of Health and Welfare for a Comprehensive 10-Year Strategy for Cancer Control; and by the Society for Promotion of Pathology, Nagoya, Japan.

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