Folic acid supplementary reduce the incidence of adenocarcinoma in a mouse model of colorectal cancer: microarray gene expression profile

J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2011;30(1):116. doi: 10.1186/1756-9966-30-116. Epub 2011 Dec 29.


Background: Whether Folic acid is a potential drug that may prevent the progression of colorectal carcinoma and when to use are important healthy issues we focus on. Our study is to examine the effect of folic acid on the development of the CRC and the optimal time folic acid should be provided in a mouse-ICR model induced by 1, 2-Dimethylhydrazine. Also, we investigated the gene expression profile of this model related to folic acid.

Method: Female ICR mouse (n=130) were divided into 7 groups either with the treatment of 1, 2-Dimethylhydrazine (20 mg/kg bodyweight) weekly or folic acid (8 mg/kg bodyweight) twice a week for 12 or 24 weeks. Using a 4 x 44 K Agilent whole genome oligo microarray assay, different gene expression among groups (NS, DMH, FA2, FA3) were identified and selected genes were validated by real-time polymerase chain reaction.

Results: Animals with a supplementary of folic acid showed a significant decrease in the incidence, the maximum diameter and multiplicity of adenocarcinomas (P<0.05). Furthermore, there were fewer adenomas or adenocarcinomas developed in the group of folic acid supplementation in pre-adenoma stage compared to group of post-adenoma stage. Meanwhile, about 1070 genes that were changed by 1, 2-Dimethylhydrazine can be reversed by folic acid and 172 differentially genes were identified between the groups of pre- and post- adenoma stage using microarray gene expression analysis.

Conclusion: Our study demonstrated that folic acid supplementary was significantly associated with the decrease risk of CRC. And the subgroup of providing folic acid without precancerous lesions was more effective than that with precancerous lesions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma / prevention & control*
  • Animals
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Folic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Random Allocation
  • Risk Factors
  • Transcriptome


  • Folic Acid