Gamma-tocopherol attenuates moderate but not severe colitis and suppresses moderate colitis-promoted colon tumorigenesis in mice. Academic Article uri icon


  • Inflammation can promote colon cancer. Mechanistic studies indicate that -tocopherol (T), a major form of vitamin E in diets, has anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties. Here we investigated the effectiveness of T and a mixture of tocopherols against colitis and colitis-promoted colon tumorigenesis in male BALB/c mice. T or mixed tocopherols (at 0.1% diet) did not show any effect on colon tumorigenesis induced by azoxymethane (AOM, 10mg/kg) with three cycles of dextran sodium sulfate (DSS at 1.5-2.5%). T failed to exhibit protection of severe colitis caused by three cycles of DSS at 2.5%. In contrast, when AOM-initiated carcinogenesis was promoted by relatively mild colitis induced by one-cycle DSS (1.5%), T, but not mixed tocopherols, suppressed total multiplicity of macroscopic adenomas (P=0.06) and large adenomatous polyps (>2mm(2), P<0.05) by 60 and 85%, respectively. T also significantly decreased tumor multiplicity (>2mm(2)) induced by AOM with two cycles of 1.5% DSS even when dietary supplementation was started after AOM injection. Consistently, T but not mixed tocopherols attenuated DSS (1.5%)-induced colon inflammation and damage as well as formation of atypical glandular hyperplasia. Mice supplemented with tocopherols had high fecal excretion of 13'-carboxychromanol, a long-chain vitamin E metabolite shown to have potent anti-inflammatory activities. Our study demonstrates that T is able to alleviate moderate but not severe colitis and its promoted tumorigenesis, and indicates that inflammation severity should be considered in evaluating anticancer effectiveness of chemoprevention agents.

published proceedings

  • Free Radic Biol Med

author list (cited authors)

  • Jiang, Q., Jiang, Z., Hall, Y. J., Jang, Y., Snyder, P. W., Bain, C., ... Moreland, M.

citation count

  • 37

complete list of authors

  • Jiang, Qing||Jiang, Ziying||Hall, Yava Jones||Jang, Yumi||Snyder, Paul W||Bain, Carol||Huang, Jianjie||Jannasch, Amber||Cooper, Bruce||Wang, Yun||Moreland, Michelle

publication date

  • December 2013