The modifying effects of potassium chloride (KCl) ingestion on glandular stomach carcinogenesis were investigated in male Wistar rats induced by N-methyl-N′-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG) and were compared with those of sodium chloride (NaCl). A total of 120 male 6-week-old Wistar rats were divided into six groups, each consisting of 20 animals. After initiation of treatment with a MNNG solution (100 parts/million) as their drinking water for 10 weeks, rats were fed a diet supplemented with 5% NaCl, 2.5% NaCl, 2.5% NaCl plus 2.5% KCl, 5% KCl, 2.5% KCl, or a basal diet alone for the following 62 weeks. Under this experimental condition, there were no statistical differences in the final body weights between groups. The incidences of adenocarcinomas in the glandular stomachs were significantly higher in the 5% NaCl and combined 2.5% NaCl-plus-2.5% KCl groups (P < 0.05 and 0.01) than in the MNNG alone (control) group. The incidences of atypical or precancerous hyperplasias in the glandular stomachs were increased significantly by the 5% NaCl, 2.5% NaCl-plus-2.5% KCl, and 5% KCl treatments (P < 0.05 or 0.01). The multiplicities of adenocarcinomas were significantly greater in the 5% NaCl, 2.5% NaCl, and combined NaCl-plus-KCl groups (P < 0.05 or 0.01) compared with the control value. The multiplicity data for atypical hyperplasias were most striking; namely, their multiplicities were increased significantly by the treatments of NaCl or KCl (P < 0.01) in a clear dose-dependent manner and enhanced synergistically by the combined treatment of NaCl and KCl. Because the concentrations of KCl used in this study were about 1.3 times lower than those of NaCl on a molar basis, although the doses of each chemical were exactly the same on a weight-percent basis, it is suggested that the enhancing effects of KCl might not be much different from those of NaCl.

The results in the present study thus indicate that, similarly to NaCl, KCl ingestion exerts dose-dependent promoting effects and a synergistic influence with NaCl when given during the postinitiation phase of two-stage glandular stomach carcinogenesis in rats.


This work was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Cancer Research from the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Japan.

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