1,4-Phenylenebis(methylene)selenocyanate exerts exceptional chemopreventive activity in rat tongue carcinogenesis

Takuji Tanaka, Hiroki Makita, Kunihiro Kawabata, Hideki Mori, Karam El-Bayoumy

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Among the organoselenium compounds, 1,4-phenylenebis(methylene) selenocyanate (p-XSC) is reported to exert the must effective chemopreventive effect on chemically induced carcinogenesis in the mammary glands, colon, and lung of laboratory animals. This study was designed to test the inhibitory effects of dietary p-XSC (5 and 15 ppm as selenium) during the initiation phase (1 week before, during, and up to 1 week after the carcinogen exposure) and the postinitiation phase (1 week after carcinogen administration until termination) on the formation of neoplasms of the tongue induced in male F344 rats by 4-nitroquinoline-1-oxide (4-NQO). The doses of p-XSC were 20% (5 ppm selenium) and 60% (15 ppm selenium) of maximum tolerated dose levels. At 6 weeks of age, all rats except those given p-XSC alone and those in untreated groups were treated with 4-NQO (20 ppm in the drinking water for 8 weeks). Dietary p-XSC, administered at selenium levels of 5 and 15 ppm during either the initiation or postinitiation phases, significantly reduced the incidence of carcinoma of the tongue. p-XSC was especially effective when it was administered at 15 ppm selenium during the postinitiation phase, in which case it completely inhibited the development of tongue carcinoma (from 47% in the dietary control to 0%). Glutathione S-transferase activities in the liver and tongue of rats treated with 4-NQO and p-XSC were significantly elevated compared to those in rats treated with 4-NQO alone. Similarly, quinone reductase activity was significantly elevated in the liver but decreased in the tongue (posterior portion). Such modulation by p-XSC in the phase II enzyme activities of the liver and tongue might be related to inhibition of the initiation. In addition, the expression of cell proliferation biomarkers, such as polyamine level, ornithine decarboxylase activity, 5- bromodeoxyuridin-labeling index, and argyrophilic nucleolar organizer's protein number, in the epithelium of the tongue was significantly reduced in rats that were fed the p-XSC diets compared to those who were fed the basal diet. Such alteration in cell proliferation through modulation of ornithine decarboxylase activity and polyamine biosynthesis in the tongue epithelium might be related to inhibition occurring in the postinitiation phase of carcinogenesis. The dose levels of p-XSC used induced no toxicity or alteration in body weight gain. Although the precise mechanisms of p-XSC- induced inhibition of tongue carcinogenesis remains to be elucidated, it is evident that p-XSC has powerful chemopreventive efficacy against tongue carcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3644-3648
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Research
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 1 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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