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Modulation of diethylnitrosamine carcinogenesis in rat liver and oesophagus



A series of 16 experiments, using a total of 2,000 BD6 rats, was designed in order to assess the ability of 8 individual agents or their combinations to modulate the liver and oesophageal carcinogenesis induced by multiple doses of diethylnitrosamine (DEN). Of the antioxidants tested, sodium selenite, ascorbic acid, and butylated hydroxytoluence generally exhibited protective effects on both types of tumors. In contrast, retinoic acid behaved as a promoter of DEN hepatocarcinogenesis, but this effect could be eliminated by its combination with either selenite or butylated hydroxytoluene. Caffeine and theophyline, when individually assayed, were devoid of significant protective effects, and the later methylxanthine stimulated oesophageal tumorigenesis when administered afer exposure to the carcinogen. Caffeine tended to decrease tje multiplicityof tumors and potentiated the inhibitory effect of selenite in the liver. Irrespective of combination with caffeine, treatment with phwnobarbital before each DEN injection tended to reduce the multiplicity of both liver and oesophageal tumors. On the other hand, the metabolic inhibitoe diethyldithiocarbamate, given after each DEN injection, dramatically enhancedd the incidence and multiplicity of oesophageal tumors. Thus, on the whole, modulation of DEN carcinogenesis varied depending on test agents, their conbinations, dosages, treatment schedules, and target organ.

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