Inhibitory effects of meju prepared with mixed starter cultures on azoxymethane and dextran sulfate sodium-induced colon carcinogenesis in mice

Ji-Kang Jeong1, Hee-Kyung Chang2, Kun-Young Park1
1Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Pusan National University, Busan 609-735, Korea.
2Department of Pathology, Kosin University Gospel Hospital, Busan 602-702, Korea.
DOI: 10.4103/1477-3163.100404


Backgrounds: Meju is the main ingredient and the starter culture of traditional Korean fermented soybean foods; these fermented soybean products are well-known for their various health benefits, including anticancer effects. We developed the grain-type meju using probiotic mixed starter cultures to improve the qualities and functionalities of fermented soybean products, as well as the meju itself. In this study, the inhibitory effects of the grain-type meju were investigated in azoxymethane (AOM) and dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colon carcinogenesis mice model. Materials and Methods: AOM and DSS colon carcinogenesis was induced in female C57BL/6 mice and meju was orally administered for 4 weeks. The body weight, colon length, and colon weight of mice were determined, and colonic tissues were histologically observed. The serum levels of proinflammatory cytokines and the levels of inflammation- and apoptosis-related genes in colonic tissue were also analyzed. Results: The administration of meju using probiotic mixed starter cultures ameliorated the symptoms of colon cancer and reduced number of neoplasia, and reduced serum proinflammatory cytokine levels and iNOS and COX-2 expression levels in colonic tissue. It increased Bax and reduced Bcl-2 expression levels and increased p21 and p53 expression in colonic tissues. Conclusion: The meju showed inhibitory effects on the progression of colon cancer induced by AOM and DSS by ameliorating the symptoms of colon cancer, reducing the number of neoplasias and regulating proinflammatory cytokine levels and the expressions of inflammation- and apoptosis-related genes in the colonic tissue.

Keywords: Colon carcinogenesis, Inflammation, Meju, starter culture.