OBJECTIVES: Flavanol dihydromyricetin (DHM) has been shown to counteract acute ethanol (EtOH) intoxication and reduce excessive EtOH consumption. Since this flavonoid is being considered for human use, the in vivo study of DHM interactions with the cytochrome P450 (CYP) multienzyme system in the respect of metabolic activation of a model food-born carcinogen, benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), is of high importance. Flavonoids of known properties, alpha-naphthoflavone (ANF) and beta-naphthoflavone (BNF) were included into the study to compare their and DHM effects on BaP-DNA adduct formation. METH0 DS: The flavonoids were administered by oral gavage either 72 hrs prior or simultaneously with a single dose of BaP to experimental rats. The expression of CYP1A1/2 enzymes was examined based on the enzymatic activity with a marker substrate, 7-ethoxyresorufin, and on Western blots. The nuclease P1 version of the 32P-postlabeling assay was used to detect and quantify covalent DNA adducts formed by BaP.
RESULTS: Treatment of rats with a single dose of DHM or ANF prior to or simultaneously with BaP did not produce an increase in levels of CYP1A1 and in formation of BaP-DNA adducts in liver. BNF, a known inducer of CYP1A1, showed a synergistic effect on BaP-mediated CYP1A1 induction and BaP activation in liver. Contrary to that, in small intestine the stimulatory effect of BNF on both parameters was not detected. Animal pre-treatment with DHM or ANF before BaP administration resulted in a significant elevation of BaP-DNA adducts, namely in the distal part of small intestine, while the CYP1A1 mediated 7-ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylation (EROD) was decreased markedly. It is important to note that under all regimens of animal treatment, DHM or ANF produced the higher inhibitory effect on the BaP-DNA adduct formation and BaP-induced EROD activity of CYP1A1 when administered simultaneously than sequentially with BaP. Our data show that DHM or ANF did not enhance the BaP-activation leading to BaP-mediated genotoxicity (the formation of BaP-DNA adducts) in rat liver, however, in small intestine the pretreatment of rats with these flavonoids may enhance BaP genotoxicity.
CONCLUSIONS: The data indicate that the intake of DHM prior to or simultaneously with the administration of BaP may increase the risk of a BaP-induced tumorigenesis in small intestine.