Inhibitory effect of nordihydroguaiaretic acid, a plant lignan, on Helicobacter pylori-associated gastric carcinogenesis in Mongolian gerbils

Cancer Sci. 2007 Nov;98(11):1689-95. doi: 10.1111/j.1349-7006.2007.00599.x.


Recent epidemiological studies have demonstrated that consumption of certain natural products can lower cancer risk in humans. For example, plant-derived lignans have been shown to exert chemopreventive effects against cancer in vitro and in vivo. In the present study, the effects of three such lignans, termed arctiin, arctigenin, and nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA), on the proliferation of Helicobacter pylori and the prevention of H. pylori-associated gastric cancer were investigated in Mongolian gerbils. To examine the effects of arctigenin and NDGA on stomach carcinogenesis, specific pathogen-free male, 5-week-old gerbils were infected with H. pylori, administered 10 p.p.m. N-methyl-N-nitrosourea in their drinking water and fed diets containing various concentrations of lignans until they were killed after 52 weeks. At a dietary level of 0.25%, NDGA significantly decreased the incidence of gastric adenocarcinomas. Arctigenin, in contrast, failed to attenuate neoplasia at a level of 0.1%. Both NDGA and arctigenin significantly reduced serum 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine levels at doses of 0.25 and 0.05% (NDGA), and 0.1% (arctigenin). Administration of 0.25% NDGA significantly suppressed the formation of intestinal metaplasia both in the antrum and the corpus. Although all three lignans dose-dependently inhibited the in vitro proliferation of H. pylori, there were no differences in the titers of anti-H. pylori antibodies or the amount of the H. pylori-specific urease A gene among all H. pylori-infected groups. These results suggest that NDGA might be effective for prevention of gastric carcinogenesis. The possible mechanisms appear to be related to inhibitory effects on progression of gastritis and antioxidative activity rather than direct antimicrobial influence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / microbiology
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma / prevention & control*
  • Animals
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Furans / therapeutic use*
  • Gerbillinae
  • Helicobacter Infections / prevention & control*
  • Helicobacter pylori / cytology*
  • Helicobacter pylori / drug effects
  • Helicobacter pylori / enzymology
  • Lignans / pharmacology
  • Lignans / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Masoprocol / therapeutic use*
  • Plants
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms
  • Stomach Neoplasms / microbiology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Urease / genetics


  • Furans
  • Lignans
  • Masoprocol
  • Urease
  • arctigenin