Grapefruit juice intake does not enhance but rather protects against aflatoxin B1-induced liver DNA damage through a reduction in hepatic CYP3A activity

Carcinogenesis. 2004 Feb;25(2):203-9. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgg194. Epub 2003 Oct 24.


Influence of grapefruit juice intake on aflatoxin B1 (AFB1)-induced liver DNA damage was examined using a Comet assay in F344 rats given 5 mg/kg AFB1 by gavage. Rats allowed free access to grapefruit juice for 5 days prior to AFB1 administration resulted in clearly reduced DNA damage in liver, to 65% of the level in rats that did not receive grapefruit juice. Furthermore, rats treated with grapefruit juice extract (100 mg/kg per os) for 5 days prior to AFB1 treatment also reduced the DNA damage to 74% of the level in rats that did not receive grapefruit juice. No significant differences in the portal blood and liver concentrations of AFB1 were observed between grapefruit juice intake rats and the controls. In an Ames assay with AFB1 using Salmonella typhimurium TA98, lower numbers of revertant colonies were detected with hepatic microsomes prepared from rats administered grapefruit juice, compared with those from control rats. Microsomal testosterone 6beta-hydroxylation was also lower with rats given grapefruit juice than with control rats. Immunoblot analyses showed a significant decrease in hepatic CYP3A content, but not CYP1A and CYP2C content, in microsomes of grapefruit juice-treated rats than in non-treated rats. No significant difference in hepatic glutathione S-transferase (GST) activity and glutathione content was observed in the two groups. GSTA5 protein was not detected in hepatic cytosol of the two groups. In microsomal systems, grapefruit juice extract inhibited AFB1-induced mutagenesis in the presence of a microsomal activation system from livers of humans as well as rats. These results suggest that grapefruit juice intake suppresses AFB1-induced liver DNA damage through inactivation of the metabolic activation potency for AFB1 in rat liver.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aflatoxin B1 / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases / metabolism*
  • Beverages*
  • Citrus paradisi*
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A
  • DNA Damage / drug effects*
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Glutathione Transferase / metabolism
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Male
  • Microsomes, Liver / enzymology
  • Oxidoreductases, N-Demethylating / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Salmonella typhimurium / drug effects
  • Salmonella typhimurium / metabolism
  • Testosterone / metabolism


  • Testosterone
  • Aflatoxin B1
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A
  • Oxidoreductases, N-Demethylating
  • Glutathione Transferase
  • Glutathione