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Open AccessArticle

Dietary Supplementation with the Red Seaweed Porphyra umbilicalis Protects against DNA Damage and Pre-Malignant Dysplastic Skin Lesions in HPV-Transgenic Mice

Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD), 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal
Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environmental and Biological Sciences (CITAB), 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal
Animal and Veterinary Research Center (CECAV), 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal
LEPABE—Laboratory for Process Engineering, Environment, Biotechnology and Energy, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
Molecular Oncology and Viral Pathology Group, IPO-Porto Research Center (CI-IPOP), Portuguese Institute of Oncology of Porto (IPO-Porto), 4200-072 Porto, Portugal
Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto (FMUP), 4200-450 Porto, Portugal
CEBIMED, Faculty of Health Sciences, Fernando Pessoa University, 4200-150 Porto, Portugal
LPCC Research Department, Portuguese League against Cancer (NRNorte), 4200-172 Porto, Portugal
Research Center in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure (CIAFEL), Faculty of Sports, University of Porto, 4200-450 Porto, Portugal
ALGAplus, Lda., PCI-Creative Science Park, 3830-352 Ílhavo, Portugal
Department of Biology and CESAM, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Department of Genetic and Biotechnology, CECAV, UTAD, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal
Department of Agronomy, UTAD, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Mar. Drugs 2019, 17(11), 615;
Received: 7 October 2019 / Revised: 23 October 2019 / Accepted: 24 October 2019 / Published: 29 October 2019
Some diet profiles are associated with the risk of developing cancer; however, some nutrients show protective effects. Porphyra umbilicalis is widely consumed, having a balanced nutritional profile; however, its potential for cancer chemoprevention still needs comprehensive studies. In this study, we incorporated P. umbilicalis into the diet of mice transgenic for the human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16), which spontaneously develop pre-malignant and malignant lesions, and determined whether this seaweed was able to block lesion development. Forty-four 20-week-old HPV+/− and HPV−/− mice were fed either a base diet or a diet supplemented with 10% seaweed. At the end of the study, skin samples were examined to classify HPV16-induced lesions. The liver was also screened for potential toxic effects of the seaweed. Blood was used to study toxicological parameters and to perform comet and micronucleus genotoxicity tests. P. umbilicalis significantly reduced the incidence of pre-malignant dysplastic lesions, completely abrogating them in the chest skin. These results suggest that P. umbilicalis dietary supplementation has the potential to block the development of pre-malignant skin lesions and indicate its antigenotoxic activity against HPV-induced DNA damage. Further studies are needed to establish the seaweed as a functional food and clarify the mechanisms whereby this seaweed blocks multistep carcinogenesis induced by HPV. View Full-Text
Keywords: K14HPV16; genotoxicity assay; papillomavirus; cancer K14HPV16; genotoxicity assay; papillomavirus; cancer
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Santos, S.; Ferreira, T.; Almeida, J.; Pires, M.J.; Colaço, A.; Lemos, S.; Gil da Costa, R.M.; Medeiros, R.; Bastos, M.M.S.M.; Neuparth, M.J.; Abreu, H.; Pereira, R.; Pacheco, M.; Gaivão, I.; Rosa, E.; Oliveira, P.A. Dietary Supplementation with the Red Seaweed Porphyra umbilicalis Protects against DNA Damage and Pre-Malignant Dysplastic Skin Lesions in HPV-Transgenic Mice. Mar. Drugs 2019, 17, 615.

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