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Preventive effects of chrysin on the development of azoxymethane-induced colonic aberrant crypt foci in rats.The modifying effects of dietary feeding with chrysin (5,7-dihydroxyflavone) on the development of azoxymethane (AOM)-induced colonic aberrant crypt foci (ACF) were investigated in male F344 rats. We also assessed the effect of chrysin on mitosis and apoptosis in 'normal appearing' crypts. To induce ACF, rats were given two weekly subcutaneous injections of AOM (20 mg/kg body weight). They also received an experimental diet containing chrysin (0.001 or 0.01%) for 4 weeks, starting 1 week before the first dose of AOM. AOM exposure produced a substantial number of ACF (73+/-13/rat) at the end of the study (week 4). Dietary administration of chrysin caused significant reduction in the frequency of ACF: 0.001% chrysin, 37+/-17/rat (49% reduction, P<0.001); and 0.01% chrysin, 40+/-10/rat (45% reduction, P<0.001). In addition, chrysin administration significantly reduced the mitotic index and significantly increased the apoptotic index in 'normal appearing' crypts. These findings might suggest a possible chemopreventive activity of chrysin in the early step of colon tumorigenesis through modulation of cryptal cell proliferation activity and apoptosis.