Chemoprevention of DMH-induced rat colon carcinoma initiation by combination administration of piroxicam and C-phycocyanin

Mol Cell Biochem. 2012 Feb;361(1-2):217-28. doi: 10.1007/s11010-011-1106-9. Epub 2011 Oct 12.


Cancer research illustrated that combinatorial studies can provide significant improvement in safety and effectiveness over the monotherapy regimens. A combination of two drugs may restrain precancerous colon polyps, opening a new possible opportunity for chemoprevention of colon cancer. In this context, chemopreventive efficacy of a combination regimen of C-phycocyanin, a biliprotein present in Spirulina platensis, a cyanobacterium, which is a selective cycloxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor and piroxicam, a traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug was considered in 1,2 dimethylhyadrazine (DMH)-induced colon carcinogenesis in rats. Western blotting, immunohistochemistry, DNA fragmentation, fluorescent staining, PGE(2) enzyme immunoassay, and carrageenan-induced paw edema test were performed along with morphological and histological analysis. DMH treatment showed a rich presence of preneoplastic lesions such as multiple plaque lesions, aberrant crypt foci, and well-characterized dysplasia. These features were reduced with piroxicam and C-phycocyanin administration. The number of apoptotic cells was featured prominently in all the groups compared with DMH. DMH treatment revealed intact high molecular weight genomic DNA with no signs of laddering/DNA fragmentation while it was noticeable significantly in control and DMH + piroxicam + C-phycocyanin. DMH group showed highest COX-2 expression and PGE(2) level in comparison with other groups. Doses of piroxicam and C-phycocyanin used in the present study were established at an anti-inflammatory range. A combination regimen of piroxicam and C-phycocyanin, rather than individually has the much greater potential for reduction of DMH-induced colon cancer development and COX-2 being the prime possible target in such chemoprevention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 1,2-Dimethylhydrazine
  • Animals
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Carcinoma / chemically induced
  • Carcinoma / metabolism
  • Carcinoma / pathology
  • Carcinoma / prevention & control*
  • Carrageenan
  • Colon / drug effects
  • Colon / metabolism
  • Colon / pathology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Cyclooxygenase 1 / genetics
  • Cyclooxygenase 1 / metabolism
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 / genetics
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 / metabolism
  • DNA Fragmentation
  • Dinoprostone / metabolism
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Edema / chemically induced
  • Edema / prevention & control
  • Gene Expression
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Male
  • Phycocyanin / therapeutic use*
  • Piroxicam / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Phycocyanin
  • Piroxicam
  • Carrageenan
  • Cyclooxygenase 1
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Ptgs2 protein, rat
  • 1,2-Dimethylhydrazine
  • Dinoprostone