Dietary intervention of cow ghee and soybean oil on expression of cell cycle and apoptosis related genes in normal and carcinogen treated rat mammary gland

Mol Biol Rep. 2011 Jun;38(5):3299-307. doi: 10.1007/s11033-010-0435-1. Epub 2010 Nov 19.


The present study investigated the effect of cow ghee (clarified butter fat) versus soybean oil on the expression of cyclins A and D1, and apoptosis regulating Bax, Bcl-2 and PKC-α genes in mammary gland of normal and 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA) treated rats. Two groups of 21 days old female rats were fed for 44 weeks diet containing cow ghee or soybean oil (10%). The animals were given DMBA (30 mg/kg body weight) through oral intubation after 5 weeks feeding. Another two groups fed similarly but not given DMBA served as respective controls. In control groups, the expression of cyclin A was similar on both cow ghee and soybean oil, but that of cyclin D1 was more on soybean oil diet. However, in DMBA treated groups, the expression levels of cyclins A and D1 were significantly greater on soybean oil than on cow ghee. The expression levels of Bax, Bcl-2 and PKC-α were similar in two control groups. However, in tumor tissue expression levels of Bcl-2 and PKC-α were significantly lower in cow ghee fed rats than in soybean oil fed ones, but Bax was similarly expressed in both DMBA treated groups. The pro-apoptotic ratio Bax/Bcl-2 increased and the anti-apoptotic ratio PKC-α(Bcl-2/Bax) decreased in cow ghee group compared to soybean oil group in DMBA treated rats. Hence, the decreased expressions of cyclins A and D1, Bcl-2 and PKC-α mediate the mechanism by which cow ghee protects from mammary carcinogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Apoptosis / genetics*
  • Carcinogens / pharmacology*
  • Cattle
  • Cell Cycle* / drug effects
  • Cell Cycle* / genetics
  • Cyclin A / genetics
  • Cyclin D1 / genetics
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fats / pharmacology*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Mammary Glands, Animal* / drug effects
  • Mammary Glands, Animal* / physiology
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / genetics
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology
  • Protein Kinase C-alpha / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / genetics
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Soybean Oil / administration & dosage
  • Soybean Oil / pharmacology*
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein / genetics


  • Carcinogens
  • Cyclin A
  • Dietary Fats
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein
  • Cyclin D1
  • Soybean Oil
  • Protein Kinase C-alpha