2014 年 63 巻 4 号 p. 459-466
Because of the difficulty to exclude possible involvement of nuclear DNA mutations, it has been a controversial issue whether pathogenic mutations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and the resultant respiration defects are involved in tumor development. To address this issue, our previous study generated transmitochondrial mice (mito-mice-ND613997), which possess the nuclear and mtDNA backgrounds derived from C57BL/6J (B6) strain mice except that they carry B6 mtDNA with a G13997A mutation in the mt-Nd6 gene. Because aged mito-mice-ND613997 simultaneously showed overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in bone marrow cells and high frequency of lymphoma development, current study examined the effects of administrating a ROS scavenger on the frequency of lymphoma development. We used N-acetylcysteine (NAC) as a ROS scavenger, and showed that NAC administration prevented lymphoma development. Moreover, its administration induced longevity in mito-mice-ND613997. The gene expression profiles in bone marrow cells indicated the upregulation of the Fasl gene, which can be suppressed by NAC administration. Given that natural-killer (NK) cells mediate the apoptosis of various tumor cells via enhanced expression of genes encoding apoptotic ligands including Fasl gene, its overexpression would reflect the frequent lymphoma development in bone marrow cells. These observations suggest that continuous administration of an antioxidant would be an effective therapeutics to prevent lymphoma development enhanced by ROS overproduction.