Dietary polyunsaturated n-6 lipids effects on the growth and fatty acid composition of rat mammary tumors

Eduard Escrich, Montserrat Solanas, Montserrat Soler, Ma Carmen Ruiz De Villa, Josep A. Sánchez, Ramon Segura

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The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of a polyunsaturated n-6 high-fat diet on rat DMBA-induced breast cancer at different stages of the carcinogenesis and to investigate if changes in the tumor fatty acid composition are one of the mechanisms by which dietary lipids could exert their effects. 14 fatty acids were evaluated in 6 lipid fractions. The results firstly showed that this high-fat diet stimulated the malignant mammary tumor growth, mainly all in the promotion group. The tumor lipid analysis indicated: 1) that each lipid fraction presented distinct major fatty acids (>5%) which were not the most abundant in the diet, except in the case of the triacylglicerides, suggesting the different resistance to dietary fatty acid modification of the tumor lipid fractions; 2) a higher arachidonic acid content in the fractions with less linoleic acid, above all in phospholipids, particularly in the phosphatidylethanolamine, indicating a different efficiency of conversion; 3) the three most abundant fatty acids in the dietary lipid (18:2n-6, 18:1n-9 and 16:0) were those which essentially displayed the differences between groups; thus, the high-fat diet changed the tumor lipid profile, increasing the 18:2n-6 relative content and decreasing that of the 18:1n-9; differences were significant in phosphatidylcholine, free fatty acids and triacylglycerides. Any change was obtained in the phosphatidylinositol. The greatest number of differences was found in the promotion group. Taken as a whole, our results suggest the different roles of lipid fractions in breast cancer cells and an association between cancer malignancy and the content of linoleic and oleic acids. Copyright © 2001 Elsevier Science Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)536-549
JournalJournal of Nutritional Biochemistry
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001


  • DMBA-induced breast cancer
  • Fatty acid composition
  • Fatty acids
  • Mammary carcinomas
  • Polyunsaturated n-6 diet
  • PUFA


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