TitleChemoprevention of dibenzo[a,l]pyrene transplacental carcinogenesis in mice born to mothers administered green tea: primary role of caffeine.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsCastro, DJ, Yu, Z, Löhr, CV, Pereira, CB, Giovanini, JN, Fischer, KA, Orner, GA, Dashwood, RH, Williams, DE
Date Published2008 Aug

Our laboratory recently developed a mouse model of transplacental induction of lymphoma, lung and liver cancer by the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, dibenzo[a,l]pyrene (DBP). Pregnant B6129SF1 females, bred to 129S1/SvIm males, were treated on day 17 of gestation with an oral dose of 15 mg/kg DBP. Beginning on day 0 of gestation, dams were given (ad lib) buffered water, 0.5% green tea, 0.5% decaffeinated green tea, caffeine or epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) (both at equivalent concentrations found in tea). The concentration of the teas (and corresponding caffeine and EGCG) was increased to 1.0% upon entering the second trimester, 1.5% at onset of the third trimester and continued at 1.5% until pups were weaned at 21 days of age. Offspring were raised with normal drinking water and AIN93G diet. Beginning at 2 months of age, offspring experienced significant mortalities due to an aggressive T-cell lymphoma as seen in our previous studies. Ingestion of caffeinated, but not decaffeinated, green tea provided modest but significant protection (P = 0.03) against mortality. Caffeine provided a more robust (P = 0.006) protection, but EGCG was without effect. Offspring also developed DBP-dependent lung adenomas. All treatments significantly reduced lung tumor multiplicity relative to controls (P < 0.02). EGCG was most effective at decreasing tumor burden (P = 0.005) by on average over 40% compared with controls. Induction of Cytochrome P450 (Cyp)1b1 in maternal liver may reduce bioavailability of DBP to the fetus as a mechanism of chemoprevention. This is the first demonstration that maternal ingestion of green tea, during pregnancy and nursing, provides protection against transplacental carcinogenesis.