Enhancement of N-nitroso(2-hydroxypropyl)(2-oxopropyl)amine-induced tumorigenesis in Sprague-Dawley rats by orotic acid

Carcinogenesis. 1991 Feb;12(2):181-6. doi: 10.1093/carcin/12.2.181.


The effect of orotic acid (OA) on the carcinogenicity of N-nitroso(2-hydroxypropyl)(2-oxopropyl)amine (HPOP) in rats was evaluated. A group of 5 week old Sprague-Dawley male rats were placed on a synthetic 20% protein diet containing 1% OA. A second group was placed on a regular, OA-free diet of similar composition. Approximately 2 weeks later, animals from both groups grown to 100 g were treated with 400 mg/kg HPOP delivered continuously for 14 days via 2002 Alzet osmotic pumps implanted s.c. Rats fed the OA diet were kept under this diet for 13 weeks following initiation of HPOP treatment and subsequently were placed on the regular diet for another 12 weeks, at which time they were killed. In the absence of OA, HPOP-treated rats developed adenomas in the kidney and lungs at incidences of 5 and 33% respectively, while pancreas and liver were unaffected. On the other hand, rats fed the OA diet and treated with HPOP developed renal mesenchymal tumors and pulmonary adenomas at incidences of 70 and 65% respectively. In addition, HPOP induced cystic lesions in the pancreas of animals fed the OA diet. The enhancement of the tumorigenic effectiveness of HPOP was at least partly ascribed to the effect of OA treatment on the rate by which carcinogen-induced alkylation of DNA was repaired in various tissues. Accumulation of N7-methylguanine in kidney, lung and pancreas of rats fed the OA diet was 1.6, 1.9 and 2.4 times higher than in respective organs of animals fed the regular diet. Similarly, concentrations of the premutagenic O6-methylguanine (O6-MeG) were 3.0, 3.1 and 2 times greater in the kidney, lung and pancreas of rats fed the OA diet than in the respective organs of those fed the regular diet. Feeding an OA diet to HPOP-treated rats did not have an effect on either the resistance of the liver to this carcinogen or on the level of O6-MeG accumulation in the DNA of this tissue.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinogens / toxicity*
  • DNA / metabolism
  • Drug Synergism
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Lung / drug effects
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Lung Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Nitrosamines / toxicity*
  • Orotic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Pancreas / drug effects
  • Pancreas / metabolism
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Carcinogens
  • Nitrosamines
  • N-nitroso(2-hydroxypropyl)(2-oxopropyl)amine
  • Orotic Acid
  • DNA