We tried to inhibit the formation of azoxymethane-induced aberrant crypt foci (ACF) in the rat intestine by feeding a culture of a beta-glucuronidase-deficient Escherichia coli strain or a cell suspension of a lycopene-producing E. coli strain. Feeding of the former culture to F344 rats did not decrease fecal beta-glucuronidase activity or the number of ACF compared with the control beta-glucuronidase-proficient groups. However, a significant positive correlation between the fecal beta-glucuronidase activity and the ACF number was observed among groups treated with cultures of beta-glucuronidase-proficient and -deficient strains. In the group treated with lycopene-producing cells, the number of ACF was significantly lower than that in the control group. A vegetable juice containing a larger amount of lycopene than a cell suspension of the lycopene-producing E. coli also decreased the number of ACF to the same extent as a cell suspension of the lycopene-producing bacteria. These results suggest that feeding of the beta-glucuronidase-deficient E. coli is not very effective in preventing colon carcinogenesis, although activity of the fecal beta-glucuronidase is associated with AOM-induced ACF formation, and that lycopene-producing intestinal bacteria can effectively prevent colon carcinogenesis.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.