Lycopene enhances antioxidant enzyme activities and immunity function in N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine-enduced gastric cancer rats

Int J Mol Sci. 2011;12(5):3340-51. doi: 10.3390/ijms12053340. Epub 2011 May 23.


To investigate anticancer effect of lycopene, we examined the effects of lycopene on the oxidative injury and immunity activities of N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG)-induced gastric cancer rats. The animals were divided into five groups. Group I served as the normal control and was given corn oil orally for 20 weeks. Group II were induced with MNNG 200 mg/kg body weight by oral gavage at days 0 and 14, and saturated NaCl (1 mL per rats) was given once every three days for four weeks until the end of the experimental period. Group III, IV and V were posttreated with lycopene (50, 100 and 150 mg/kg body weight, dissolved in corn oil) from the sixth week of MNNG (as in group II) induction up to the end of the experimental period. In the presence of MNNG, MDA and immunity levels were significantly increased, whereas enzymatic (SOD, CAT, and GPx) antioxidant activities were decreased in the treated rats compared with normal control rats. Administration of lycopene to gastric carcinoma-induced rats largely up-regulated the redox status and immunity activities to decrease the risk of cancer compared to group II. We conclude that up-regulation of antioxidants and immunity by lycopene treatment might be responsible for the anticancer effect in gastric carcinoma.

Keywords: MNNG; digestive tract; gastric cancer; lycopene; rat.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Carotenoids / pharmacology*
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Interleukins / metabolism
  • Lycopene
  • Male
  • Methylnitronitrosoguanidine
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Stomach / drug effects
  • Stomach / enzymology*
  • Stomach / immunology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Stomach Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / immunology
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Interleukins
  • Methylnitronitrosoguanidine
  • Carotenoids
  • Catalase
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Lycopene