Article ID: 17-0603
Cigarette smoke is a strong and independent risk factor for esophageal cancer, while the consumption of cow’s milk has been proposed as a protective factor. The mechanistic role of milk in preventing cancer, however, has not been clarified. We focused our study on acrolein, an abundant unsaturated aldehyde present in cigarette smoke. Acrolein is a highly toxic compound and a putative carcinogen. Using a cell culture system, we found that (1) acrolein caused necrosis in Ramos Burkitt’s lymphoma cells, (2) the necrosis was inhibited by preincubation of acrolein with milk, and (3) acrolein formed adducts with milk proteins. These results indicated the protective effects of cow's milk against acrolein-induced cytotoxicity via protein-acrolein adduct formation.