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Specific inhibitory effect of dietary eicosapentaenoic acid on N-nitroso-N-methylurea-induced mammary carcinogenesis in female Sprague-Dawley rats



Specific inhibitory effect of dietary eicosapentaenoic acid on N-nitroso-N-methylurea-induced mammary carcinogenesis in female Sprague-Dawley rats



Carcinogenesis 11(11): 2015-2019



We have investigated the effects of two qualitatively different types of unsaturated fatty acids on N-nitroso-N-methylurea (NMU)-induced mammary carcinogenesis in female Sprague-Dawley rats. Semipurified diets containing 4.7% eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) plus 0.3% linoleic acid or 5% linoleic acid were prepared. Animals maintained on these diets were given an i.v. injection of NMU (50 mg/kg body wt) at 50 days of age and killed 20 weeks later. Both tumor incidence and tumor number per rat were significantly lower in the EPA diet group (60.0% and 2.3 +/- 2.5 versus 93.3% and 5.1 +/- 4.5 respectively) for the 5% linoleic acid diet. Furthermore, the average weight of tumor material (total) per rat was significantly lower in the EPA as compared to linoleic acid diet group (2.9 +/- 4.2 g and 11.4 +/- 12.2 g respectively). Analysis of phospholipid fatty acids in the mammary tumors in the EPA diet group showed a higher proportion of C16:0, C18:2, omega-3 fatty acids C20:5 and C22:6 and a lower proportion of C20:4. Furthermore, mammary tumors in rats fed the EPA diet demonstrated significant reduction in prostaglandins. The results thus suggest that inhibition by EPA of NMU-induced mammary carcinogenesis may be mediated via the modulation of lipid metabolism and associated reduction in prostaglandin synthesis.

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Accession: 041406678

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PMID: 2225334


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