Growth kinetics and chemoprevention of aberrant crypts in the rat colon

Michael J. Wargovich, Charles Harris, Chi‐Dai ‐D Chen, Cynthia Palmer, Vernon E. Steele, Gary J. Kelloff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Single and multiple colonic crypts exhibiting dysplasia that are detectable in situ by staining of rat colon with methylene blue are called aberrant crypts (AC) and may serve as an intermediate marker for colon cancer. In a characterization study, we have established the kinetics of AC growth and development over a period of 20 d following injection of rats with the carcinogen azoxymethane (AOM). AC are not present at 5 d post‐injection, but are a constant feature at 10 d and thereafter. Multiple AC, presumably clonal, begin to evolve at 10 d and are consistent by 20 d, forming incipient microdenomata. We have examined 20 candidate chemopreventive agents for inhibition of AC. All agents were given in AIN‐76diet, at two dose levels, with injections of AOM. AC were measured after 5 weeks of growth. Among the most active AC‐inhibiting agents were BHA, DFMO, quercetin, diallyl sulfide, 18β‐glycyrrhetinic acid, and ascorbyl palmitate. In a postinitiation study, the differentiating agent sodium butyrate was ineffective, but piroxicam was highly effective in modulating AC growth. Further, piroxicam inhibited AC development at all stages of growth from single to polycryptal clusters of AC. The AC assay shows marked sensitivity and specificity for screening agents for chemoprevention of colon cancer. © 1992 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-54
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Cellular Biochemistry
Issue numberS16G
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • aberrant crypts
  • azoxymethane
  • chemoprevention
  • colorectal cancer
  • intermediate biomarker
  • piroxicam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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