Combined effects of muricid extract and 5-fluorouracil on intestinal toxicity in rats

Roger Yazbeck, Ruth Lindsay, Catherine Abbott, Kirsten Benkendorff, Gordon Howarth

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    Chemotherapy drugs, such as 5-fluorouracil (5FU), are the standard approach for cancer and are associated with several peripheral toxicities. We previously demonstrated that Muricidae marine molluscs exhibit chemopreventive properties. This study investigated the combined effect of muricid extract derived from Dicathais orbita, with 5FU, on intestinal toxicity in rats. Groups of rats were orally gavaged water, muricid extract, or sunflower oil, with or without 5FU (150 mg/kg). Metabolic data was collected daily and small intestinal brush border enzyme activity was measured by sucrose breath test (SBT). Blood was collected by cardiac puncture for whole blood analysis. Intestinal biopsies were taken for histopathology. Neutrophil activity was measured by myeloperoxidase activity. No additional toxicity effects were observed in rats receiving the combination of 5FU and muricid extract compared to 5FU alone, as indicated by SBT, histopathology, and myeloperoxidase activity. Intestinal integrity was protected from 5FU-induced damage in the sunflower oil vehicle group, compared to controls, as measured by SBT, villus height, and crypt depth. We concluded that combination of muricid extract and 5FU did not confer any additional intestinal toxicity, further supporting its potential as a chemopreventive food product. In this model system, sunflower oil partially protected against 5FU-induced intestinal toxicity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number170858
    Number of pages9
    JournalEvidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
    Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2015

    Bibliographical note

    This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


    • Chemotherapy
    • 5-fluorouracil (5FU)
    • cancer
    • chemopreventive properties
    • Muricidae marine molluscs


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