Gene expression changes in spleens and livers of tumour-bearing mice suggest delayed inflammation and attenuated cachexia in response to oil palm phenolics

J Nutrigenet Nutrigenomics. 2013;6(6):305-26. doi: 10.1159/000357948. Epub 2014 Mar 13.


Background/aim: Plant phenolics can inhibit, retard or reverse carcinogenesis, and may thus help prevent or treat cancer. Oil palm phenolics (OPP) previously showed anti-tumour activities in vivo via a cytostatic mechanism at 1,500 ppm gallic acid equivalent. Here, we report other possible molecular mechanisms by which this extract attenuates cancer, especially those concerning the immune response.

Methods: We subcutaneously injected J558 myeloma cells in BALB/c mice and supplemented OPP orally at 1,500 ppm gallic acid equivalent. We observed the physiology parameters of these animals and harvested their spleens and livers after 18 h, 1 week and 4 weeks for microarray gene expression analysis using Illumina MouseRef-8 BeadChips.

Results: Time course microarray analysis on spleens after injecting J558 myeloma cells in mice revealed that the immune response of tumour-bearing mice supplemented with OPP was lower compared to controls, thus suggesting delayed inflammation in response to OPP. In livers, cholesterol biosynthesis genes were upregulated while inflammatory genes were downregulated through time, further suggesting attenuation of systemic inflammation and cachexia. These effects correlated with the delayed in vivo development of syngeneic tumours in mice given OPP.

Conclusions: This study suggests the possible utilisation of OPP as an anti-tumour and anti-cachexia agent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cachexia / metabolism*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Gallic Acid / chemistry
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Palm Oil
  • Phenol / chemistry*
  • Plant Oils / chemistry*
  • Spleen / metabolism*
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Plant Oils
  • Phenol
  • Palm Oil
  • Gallic Acid