We examined the modifying effect of whole-leaf Aloe arborescens Miller var. natalensis Berger (designated as 'ALOE') on azoxymethane (AOM)-induced aberrant crypt foci (ACF), putative preneoplastic lesions, in the rat colorectum. Male F344 rats (4 weeks old) were fed the basal diet, or experimental diets containing 1% or 5% ALOE for 5 weeks. One week later, all rats except those in the vehicle-treated groups were injected s.c. with AOM (15 mg/kg, once weekly for 3 weeks). At 9 weeks of age, all the rats were killed, and the colorectum and liver were evaluated for ACF and cytosolic quinone reductase (QR; a phase 2 enzyme), respectively. In rats given AOM and ALOE (1% or 5% in diet) the numbers of ACF/colorectum, aberrant crypts/colorectum, aberrant crypts/focus and large ACF/colorectum were significantly decreased compared with those of rats given AOM alone (all p < 0.01). No ACF were found in rats treated without AOM. In addition, ALOE significantly increased cytosolic QR activity in the liver (p < 0.01). These results indicated that ALOE inhibited the development of AOM-induced ACF in the rat colorectum, with increased QR activity in the liver, and therefore suggested that ALOE might have a chemopreventive effect against colon carcinogenesis at least in the initiation stage.
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