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July 2002

Efficacies of tea components on doxorubicin induced antitumor activity and reversal of multidrug resistance.

Considering the novel biochemical modulation by some foods and beverages, we have performed screening for green tea components that have enhancing effects on doxorubicin (DOX) induced antitumor activity. Components, such as caffeine, theanine, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and flavonoids have inhibitory effects on the DOX efflux from Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells. Thus, it is suggested that EGCG and flavonoids may enhance DOX induced antitumor activity and increase the DOX concentrations in tumors through the inhibition of DOX efflux. It is expected that these components in green tea exhibit low toxicity and that there are few side effects of drinking green tea in combination with an antitumor agent. We think that the intake of a favorite beverage favors a positive mental attitude of a patient and increases the efficacy of the chemotherapeutic index, and that this efficacy is useful for improving the quality of life while on cancer chemotherapy. In DOX resistant P388 leukemia cell bearing mice theanine increased the DOX induced efficacy through an increase in the DOX concentrations in the tumors. Theanine attacked the same transport process for DOX in both types of cells, elevated the DOX concentration and increased the DOX induced antitumor activity.

Toxicol Lett 2000 Apr 3;114(1-3):155-62

Enhancement of the activity of doxorubicin by inhibition of glutamate transporter.

Theanine enhanced doxorubicin (DOX) induced antitumor activity by increasing the concentration of DOX in the tumor through the inhibition of efflux of DOX from tumor cells. As theanine reduced the level of glutamate via suppression of the glutamate transporter in tumor cells, we studied the change in the intracellular concentration of glutathione (GSH) and the correlation with the GSH S-conjugate export (GS-X) pump. The reduction in the concentration of glutamate in tumor cells caused by theanine, induced decreases in the intracellular GSH and GS-DOX levels. The expression of MRP5 in M5076 cells, was confirmed. We concluded that the GS-DOX conjugate was transported extracellularly via the MRP5/GS-X pump in M5076 cells and that theanine affected this route. Namely, theanine increases the concentration of DOX in a tumor in vivo through inhibition of the glutamate transporter via the GS-X pump.

Toxicol Lett 2001 Sep 15;123(2-3):159-67

Improvement of idarubicin induced antitumor activity and bone marrow suppression by theanine, a component of tea.

We have examined the effect of theanine, a specific amino acid in green tea, on idarubicin (IDA)-induced antitumor activity and toxicity. In combination with theanine, IDA (0.25 mg/kg per day x 4 days, a dose that does not show antitumor activity) had significant antitumor activity in P388-bearing mice. The IDA concentration in the tumors in the theanine plus IDA group increased to twice the level in the IDA alone group. Furthermore, the decrease in tumor weight caused by IDA at 1.0 mg/kg per day x 4 days (at this dose IDA exhibits antitumor activity) was significantly amplified by theanine. The numbers of leukocyte and bone marrow cells decreased significantly on IDA injection. Theanine significantly reversed these changes. These results suggest that theanine selectively moderates the IDA-induced toxicities. Until recently, the antitumor activity and related toxicities of this chemotherapeutic agent in leukemia could not be distinguished. Theanine increases the IDA-induced antitumor activity and ameliorates the toxicities.

Cancer Lett 2000 Oct 1;158(2):119-24


Effect of fish oil, arginine, and doxorubicin chemotherapy on remission and survival time for dogs with lymphoma: a double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled study.

BACKGROUND: Polyunsaturated n-3 fatty acids have been shown to inhibit the growth and metastasis of tumors. This double-blind, randomized study was designed to evaluate the hypothesis that polyunsaturated n-3 fatty acids can improve metabolic parameters, decrease chemical indices of inflammation, enhance quality of life, and extend disease free interval and survival time for dogs treated for lymphoblastic lymphoma with doxorubicin chemotherapy. METHODS: Thirty-two dogs with lymphoma were randomized to receive one of two diets supplemented with menhaden fish oil and arginine (experimental diet) or an otherwise identical diet supplemented with soybean oil (control diet). Diets were fed before and after remission was attained with up to five dosages of doxorubicin. Parameters examined included blood concentrations of glucose, lactic acid, and insulin in response to glucose and diet tolerance tests; alpha-1 acid glycoprotein; tumor necrosis factor; interleukin-6; body weight; amino acid profiles; resting energy expenditure; disease free interval (DFI); survival time (ST); and clinical performance scores. RESULTS: Dogs fed the experimental diet had significantly (P < 0.05) higher mean serum levels of the n-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (C22:6) and eicosapentaenoic acid (C20:5) compared with controls. Higher serum levels of C22:6 and C20:5 were associated with lesser (P < 0.05) plasma lactic acid responses to intravenous glucose and diet tolerance testing. Increasing C22:6 levels were significantly (P < 0.05) associated with longer DFI and ST for dogs with Stage III lymphoma fed the experimental diet. CONCLUSIONS: Fatty acids of the n-3 series normalize elevated blood lactic acid in a dose-dependent manner, resulting in an increase in DFI and ST for dogs with lymphoma.

Cancer 2000 Apr 15;88(8):1916-28

Arginase activity in human breast cancer cell lines: N(omega)-hydroxy-L-arginine selectively inhibits cell proliferation and induces apoptosis in MDA-MB-468 cells.

L-Arginine is the common substrate for two enzymes, arginase and nitric oxide synthase (NOS). Arginase converts L-arginine to L-ornithine, which is the precursor of polyamines, which are essential components of cell proliferation. NOS converts L-arginine to produce NO, which inhibits proliferation of many cell lines. Various human breast cancer cell lines were initially screened for the presence of arginase and NOS. Two cell lines, BT-474 and MDA-MB-468, were found to have relatively high arginase activity and very low NOS activity. Another cell line, ZR-75-30, had the highest NOS activity and comparatively low arginase activity. The basal proliferation rates of MDA-MB-468 and BT-474 were found to be higher than the ZR-75-30 cell line. N-Hydroxy-L-arginine (NOHA), a stable intermediate product formed during conversion of L-arginine to NO, inhibited proliferation of the high arginase-expressing MDA-MB-468 cells and induced apoptosis after 48 h. NOHA arrested these cells in the S phase, increased the expression of p21, and reduced spermine content. These effects of NOHA were not observed in the ZR-75-30 cell line, which expresses high NOS and relatively low arginase. The effects of NOHA were antagonized in the presence of L-ornithine (500 microM), which suggests that in MDA-MB-468 cell line, the arginase pathway is very important for cell proliferation. Inhibition of the arginase pathway led to depletion of intracellular spermine and apoptosis as observed by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT)-mediated nick end labeling assay and induction of caspase 3. In contrast, the ZR-75-30 cell line maintained its viability and its L-ornithine and spermine levels in the presence of NOHA. We conclude that NOHA has antiproliferative and apoptotic actions on arginase-expressing human breast cancer cells that are independent of NO.

Cancer Res 2000 Jun 15;60(12):3305-12

Inhibition of the growth of human pancreatic cancer cells by the arginine antimetabolite L-canavanine.

L-Canavanine (CAV), the L-2-amino-4-guanidinooxy structural analogue of L-arginine (ARG), is a potent ARG antagonist which occurs in the jack bean, Canavalia ensiformis. This ARG antimetabolite is active against L1210 murine leukemia and a solid colonic tumor in the rat. Our initial studies using a microtiter assay show that CAV exhibits a 50% inhibitory concentration of approximately 2 mM against the human pancreatic adenocarcinoma cell line, MIA PaCa-2, when these cells are grown in Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium containing 0.4 mM ARG. When the ARG concentration is reduced to 0.4 microM, the 50% inhibitory concentration for CAV falls precipitously to 0.01 mM. The pronounced increase in the ability of CAV to inhibit MIA PaCa-2 cell growth at the lower ARG concentration may result from enhanced CAV competition with ARG for incorporation into newly synthesized cellular proteins. At 0.4 microM ARG, 30 mM CAV almost completely inhibits cell growth by 6 h. In contrast, with 0.4 mM ARG, complete inhibition does not occur until after 48 h. A dramatic reversal of growth inhibition caused by a very high concentration of CAV was observed when cells treated with CAV were replenished with a high concentration of ARG. Our results suggest that CAV has real potential as a lead compound for the development of analogues with enhanced activity against human pancreatic cancer.

Cancer Res 1994 Dec 1;54(23):6045-8

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