Chemopreventive Effects of Pomegranate Seed Oil on Skin Tumor Development in CD1 Mice

Justin J. Hora, Emily R. Maydew, Ephraim P. Lansky, Chandradhar Dwivedi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pomegranate seed oil was investigated for possible skin cancer chemopreventive efficacy in mice. In the main experiment, two groups consisting each of 30, 4-5-week-old, female CD1 mice were used. Both groups had skin cancer initiated with an initial topical exposure of 7,12-dimethylbenzanthracene and with biweekly promotion using 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA). The experimental group was pretreated with 5% pomegranate seed oil prior to each TPA application. Tumor incidence, the number of mice containing at least one tumor, was 100% and 93%, and multiplicity, the average number of tumors per mouse, was 20.8 and 16.3 per mouse after 20 weeks of promotion in the control and pomegranate seed oil-treated groups, respectively (P < .05). In a second experiment, two groups each consisting of three CD1 mice were used to assess the effect of pomegranate seed oil on TPA-stimulated ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) activity, an important event in skin cancer promotion. Each group received a single topical application of TPA, with the experimental group receiving a topical treatment 1 h prior with 5% pomegranate seed oil. The mice were killed 5 h later, and ODC activity was assessed by radiometric method. The experimental group showed a 17% reduction in ODC activity. Pomegrante seed oil (5%) significantly decreased (P < .05) tumor incidence, multiplicity, and TPA-induced ODC activity. Overall, the results highlight the potential of pomegranate seed oil as a safe and effective chemopreventive agent against skin cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-161
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Medicinal Food
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Initiation
  • Ornithine decarboxylase
  • Promotion
  • Prostaglandins
  • Punica granatum
  • Punicic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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