Dietary chromium and nickel enhance UV-carcinogenesis in skin of hairless mice

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The skin cancer enhancing effect of chromium (in male mice) and nickel in UVR-irradiated female Skh1 mice was investigated. The dietary vitamin E and selenomethionine were tested for prevention of chromium-enhanced skin carcinogenesis. The mice were exposed to UVR (1.0 kJ/m2 3× weekly) for 26 weeks either alone, or combined with 2.5 or 5.0 ppm potassium chromate, or with 20, 100 or 500 ppm nickel chloride in drinking water. Vitamin E or selenomethionine was added to the lab chow for 29 weeks beginning 3 weeks before the start of UVR exposure. Both chromium and nickel significantly increased the UVR-induced skin cancer yield in mice. In male Skh1 mice, UVR alone induced 1.9 ± 0.4 cancers/mouse, and 2.5 or 5.0 ppm potassium chromate added to drinking water increased the yields to 5.9 ± 0.8 and 8.6 ± 0.9 cancers/mouse, respectively. In female Skh1 mice, UVR alone induced 1.7 ± 0.4 cancers/mouse, and the addition of 20, 100 or 500 ppm nickel chloride increased the yields to 2.8 ± 0.9, 5.6 ± 0.7 and 4.2 ± 1.0 cancers/mouse, respectively. Neither vitamin E nor selenomethionine reduced the cancer yield enhancement by chromium. These results confirm that chromium and nickel, while not good skin carcinogens per se, are enhancers of UVR-induced skin cancers in Skh1 mice. Data also suggest that the enhancement of UVR-induced skin cancers by chromate may not be oxidatively mediated since the antioxidant vitamin E as well as selenomethionine, found to prevent arsenite-enhanced skin carcinogenesis, failed to suppress enhancement by chromate.

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