Organosulfur compounds (OSCs) present in garlic and onion oil have been shown to inhibit chemical carcinogenesis. In this study, we compared the chemopreventive efficacy of five lipid- and four water-soluble OSCs using the murine nuclear aberration assay. Administration of diallyl sulfide and S-allyl cystine p.o. at a dose of 200 mg/kg 3 h prior to i.p. 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH) injection (20 mg/kg) significantly inhibited colonic nuclear damage in female C57Bl/6J mice by 47% and 36%, respectively. The inhibitory effect of S-allyl cysteine was found to be dose dependent. The other OSCs did not affect the level of DMH-induced nuclear toxicity. Furthermore, the incidence and frequency of colonic tumors induced by DMH (20 mg/kg, 10 weekly i.p. injections) in female CF-1 mice were significantly inhibited by S-allyl cysteine pretreatment, given 3 h prior to each carcinogen injection. These data indicate that the allyl group coupled to a single sulfur atom might play an important structural role in inhibition of DMH-induced colonic nuclear toxicity and carcinogenesis. OSCs containing allyl groups stimulated glutathione S-transferase activity in both the liver and colon. However, their saturated analogues stimulated little or no hepatic and colonic glutathione S-transferase activity. Induction of hepatic and colonic glutathione S-transferase might assist in detoxification of carcinogens and could be necessary for some aspects of chemoprevention.

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This study was supported by a grant from the Wakunaga Pharmaceutical Company (Osaka, Japan).

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