Physicochemical perturbation of x-linolenic acid related to cell proliferation

January 1, 1994 Human Health and Nutrition Data 0 Comments

Physicochemical perturbation of x-linolenic acid related to cell proliferation

Year: 1994
Authors: H Fukui, T Sato, J Sunamoto.
Publication Name: Bull. Chem. Soc. Jpn.
Publication Details: Volume 67; 2213.


Changes in dietary fat composition results in modifications in cell membrane fatty acids which will impact the physiology of cellular function. Such alterations can affect the growth of cells as well as susceptibility of cells with regard to various diseases including cancer. Cell membrane fluidity can be enhanced through an increase in the consumption of highly polyunsaturated fatty acids. ALA, EPA and DHA have been shown to be anti-carcinogenic, effects that may be due to lipid peroxidation and/or alterations in eicosanoid synthesis. The objective of this research was to assess the relationship between cell membrane fluidity and the selective cytotoxicity of ALA to tumor cells. The influence of ALA and LA on lipid membrane dynamics and cell proliferation was investigated. Electron-spin resonance (ERS) measurements with 2-hexyl-2-(10-methoxycarbonyldecyl)-4,4-dimethl-3-oxazolidinyloxyl indicated that the penetration of ALA or LA into the liposomal membrane causes an increase in the membrane fluidity and a decrease in the phase-transition temperature of the lipid membrane. When human colon cancer cells and normal mouse fibroblast were incubated with ALA, the membrane fluidity of the cancer cells significantly increased over that of normal cells. ALA incubation resulted in an enhancement of cancer cell membrane fluidity to a more significant extent than LA. When ALA was administered at a concentration of 40 ug/ml, a strong cytotoxicity against the cancer cells, but not to normal cells was observed. In contrast, LA concentration up to 80 ug/ml promoted the growth of cancer cells. These results suggest that alterations in the fluidity of cancer cell membranes may be involved in the selective cytotoxicity of ALA. The results confirm research in animals which has shown that oils rich in LA promote the growth of cancer cells while fish oils rich in n-3 PUFAs depress tumor growth.

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