Folate/Vitamin B12 Supplementation Combats Oxidative Stress-Associated Carcinogenesis in a Rat Model of Colon Cancer

Smitha Padmanabhan, Mostafa I. Waly, Varna Taranikanti, Nejib Guizani, Amanat Ali, Mohammad S. Rahman, Zaher Al-Attabi, Raya N. Al-Malky, Sultan N.M. Al-Maskari, Bader R.S. Al-Ruqaishi, Jianan Dong, Richard C. Deth*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Folate and vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with depletion of the major intracellular antioxidant glutathione, and oxidative stress is emerging as an etiological mechanism for colon cancer. Azoxymethane (AOM), a potent carcinogen, induces colon cancer in rats by causing pathophysiological changes and oxidative stress. We investigated the synergistic effect of folate and vitamin B12 supplementation against AOM-induced carcinogenesis and oxidative stress in rat colon. Adult male rats were distributed into four groups: 1) Basal diet only; 2) AOM injection (15 mg/kg once per week in weeks 5 and 6); 3) Folate and vitamin B12 supplemented diet; 4) Folate and B12 diet with AOM injection. After 16 weeks, rats were sacrificed, colon tissue dissected, indicators of oxidative stress were measured, and immunohistochemical and ultrastructural changes were evaluated. AOM-injected rats showed oxidative stress, evident by glutathione depletion, oxidation of cellular proteins, and DNA oxidative damage. AOM increased mucosal levels of antiapoptotic and proapoptotic proteins Bcl2 and Bax and caused ultrastructure changes in colonic cell organelles. Folate and vitamin B12 supplementation decreased the level of oxidative stress and ameliorated the cytotoxic effects of AOM. In this in vivo experimental model of colon cancer, folate and vitamin B12 supplementation combats carcinogen-induced oxidative stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-110
Number of pages11
JournalNutrition and Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Oncology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Cancer Research


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