We have developed an experimental model of iron-induced oxidative nephrotoxicity and renal cancer. Using this model, the effect of vitamin E, a known antioxidant, was investigated. Three-week-old male Wistar rats were fed with vitamin E-sufficient (control) and vitamin E-supplemented diets throughout the experiment. After 1 month of feeding, iron-induced tissue lipid peroxidation, apoptosis, and formation of 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine, a known DNA oxidative modification, were observed by cold Schiff staining, in situ labeling method (staining by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated nick end labeling), and high-performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection system, respectively, in the groups of rats treated with ferric nitrilotriacetate (Fe-NTA; Fe, 10 mg/kg body weight). For the vitamin E intervention study on Fe-NTA-induced renal carcinogenesis, two groups of rats fed vitamin E-sufficient and vitamin E-supplemented diets (30 and 20 rats, respectively) were treated with Fe-NTA (Fe, 7.5 mg/kg body weight once or twice a week) i.p. for 3 months and observed for 9 additional months. Five of the vitamin E-sufficient rats died during the first 3-month period. The results showed that vitamin E could inhibit tissue lipid peroxidation, apoptosis, 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine formation, and the development of cancer [11 of 25 rats (44%) for vitamin E-sufficient versus 1 of 20 rats (5%) for vitamin E-supplemented rats, respectively]. These studies strongly suggest that in Fe-NTA-induced renal cancer, as with certain other types of cancer, oxidative stress plays an important role in carcinogenesis, and an antioxidant is an effective chemopreventive measure.


This work was supported by a grant-in-aid from the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Japan.

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