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Docosahexaenoic acid is a potent inducer of apoptosis in HT-29 colon cancer cells

Docosahexaenoic acid is a potent inducer of apoptosis in HT-29 colon cancer cells

Prostaglandins Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids 63(5): 301-308

Some studies have shown that dietary intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids of the n-3 series may have inhibitory effect on the growth of tumor cells both in vivo and in vitro. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which n-3 fatty acids reduce the growth of tumor cells remain poorly understood. In the present studies, we compared the potency of a variety of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids in modulating the apoptotic cell death in HT-29 colon cancer cells. Of all fatty acids examined, we found that docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3; DHA) is a potent inducer of apoptosis in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Indomethacin, a cyclooxygenase inhibitor, is ineffective in blocking the apoptosis induced by DHA, suggesting that DHA-induced apoptosis in HT-29 cells is not mediated through the cyclooxygenase pathway. In contrast, the DHA-induced apoptosis is partially reversed by a synthetic antioxidant, butylated hydroxytoluene, indicating that lipid peroxidation may be involved in apoptotic signaling pathway induced by DHA. DHA treatment decreased bcl-2 levels in association with apoptosis, whereas bax levels remained unchanged. These results suggest that decreased expression of bcl-2 by DHA might increase the sensitivity of cells to lipid peroxidation and to programmed cell death.

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Accession: 010490181

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PMID: 11090257

DOI: 10.1054/plef.2000.0218

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