Oral Glutamine (AES-14) Supplementation Inhibits PI-3K/Akt Signaling in Experimental Breast Cancer

Valentina K. Todorova, Stacy A. Harms, Shaoke Luo, Yihong Kaufmann, Kirk B. Babb, V. Suzanne Klimberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: 7,12-Dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) administration to pubertal rats causes breast tumors and inhibits glutathione (GSH) production. Our previous results have established that oral glutamine (GLN) supplementation significantly reduced tumor development, restored the depressed GSH production, and caused a significant decrease in the circulating levels of insulinlike growth factor-1 (IGF-1). The present study was designed to investigate the involvement of the IGF-1-activated phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI-3K)/Akt apoptotic signaling pathway. Materials and Methods: Forty female Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into 4 groups: DMBA+GLN (n = 16), DMBA+water (n = 8), Oil+GLN (n = 8) and Oil+water (n = 8). At the age of 50 days, rats received a single dose of 100 mg/kg DMBA (n = 24) or sesame oil (n = 16) and were gavaged with a GLN suspension formulation (AES-14) or water for the duration of the entire experiment. The animals were killed 11 weeks after the DMBA application, and the levels of IGF-1, IGF-1 receptor (IGF-IR), Akt, Bcl-2 and Bad in tumorous and nontumorous breast tissue samples were measured by Western blot analysis. Results: GLN supplementation resulted in a significant decrease in the levels of IGF-1, IGF-IR, Akt, and Bcl-2 in nontumorous samples. At the same time, the levels of pro-apoptotic protein Bad were significantly elevated. The samples collected from tumor tissues showed lower levels of IGF-1, Akt, Bcl-2, Bad, and IGF-IR in comparison with nontumorous tissues. Conclusions: GLN supplementation inhibited the PI-3K/Akt pathway that is thought to be important in increasing cell survival during tumorigenesis. These results are in agreement with our hypothesis that GLN counteracts the effects of DMBA and blocks carcinogenesis in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)404-410
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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