Fish oil is known to protect from many types of cancers of the colon, liver, breast, prostate and lung [1-3]. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the role of fish oil [Maxepa, supplemented at a dose of 0.5 ml is equivalent to 90 mg eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 60 mg docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)] on cell proliferation, expression of p53 tumor suppressor protein and DNA protein crosslinks (DPCs) in a defined model of chemical rat mammary carcinogenesis. Mammary carcinogenesis was initiated by a single, intravenous (i.v.) tail vein injection of 7,12 dimethylbenz(α)anthracene (DMBA) at a dose of 5 mg DMBA/2 ml corn oil/kg body weight in female Sprague-Dawley rats at 7 weeks of age. Fish oil supplementation was started daily, 2 weeks prior to DMBA injection and continued for 24 (31 weeks of animal age) weeks and 35 (42 weeks of animal age) weeks of post DMBA injection, for histopathological and immunohistochemical and for morphological studies, respectively.
Our results indicate the chemopreventive effect of fish oil (Maxepa) on DMBA-induced rat mammary carcinogenesis. Administration of fish oil further showed a prominent reduction of cell proliferation (24.34%, P = 0.001); DPCs (25%, P < 0.001) and an increased expression of p53 protein (4.636 ± 0.19, P < 0.001) in preneoplastic mammary tissue when compared to carcinogen control counterpart. Histopathological and morphological analyses were carried out as end-point biomarkers.
Our study thus provides evidence for the anticarcinogenic effect of fish oil (Maxepa) in limiting mammary preneoplasia in Sprague-Dawley rats.
Clinical studies suggest that intake of ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 PUFA) may lower the incidence of heart failure. Dietary supplementation with ω-3 PUFA exerts metabolic and anti-inflammatory effects that could prevent left ventricle (LV) pathology; however, it is unclear whether these effects occur at clinically relevant doses and whether there are differences between ω-3 PUFA from fish [eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)] and vegetable sources [α-linolenic acid (ALA)].
Methods and results
We assessed the development of LV remodelling and pathology in rats subjected to aortic banding treated with ω-3 PUFA over a dose range that spanned the intake of humans taking ω-3 PUFA supplements. Rats were fed a standard food or diets supplemented with EPA+DHA or ALA at 0.7, 2.3, or 7% of energy intake. Without supplementation, aortic banding increased LV mass and end-systolic and -diastolic volumes. ALA supplementation had little effect on LV remodelling and dysfunction. In contrast, EPA+DHA dose-dependently increased EPA and DHA, decreased arachidonic acid in cardiac membrane phospholipids, and prevented the increase in LV end-diastolic and -systolic volumes. EPA+DHA resulted in a dose-dependent increase in the anti-inflammatory adipokine adiponectin, and there was a strong correlation between the prevention of LV chamber enlargement and plasma levels of adiponectin (r = −0.78). Supplementation with EPA+DHA had anti-aggregatory and anti-inflammatory effects as evidenced by decreases in urinary thromboxane B2 and serum tumour necrosis factor-α.
Dietary supplementation with ω-3 PUFA derived from fish, but not from vegetable sources, increased plasma adiponectin, suppressed inflammation, and prevented cardiac remodelling and dysfunction under pressure overload conditions.
α-linolenic acid; Diet; Docosahexaenoic acid; Eicosapentaenoic acid; Heart failure
Unsaturated fatty acids, including n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) such as docosahexaenoic acid (C22:6, DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (C20:5, EPA), and a series of n-6 PUFAs were investigated for their anti-tumour and antimetastatic effects in a subcutaneous (s.c.) implanted highly metastatic colon carcinoma 26 (Co 26Lu) model. EPA and DHA exerted significant inhibitory effects on tumour growth at the implantation site and significantly decreased the numbers of lung metastatic nodules. Oleic acid also significantly inhibited lung metastatic nodules. Treatment with arachidonic acid showed a tendency for reduction in colonization. However, treatment with high doses of fatty acids, especially linoleic acid, increased the numbers of lung metastatic nodules. DHA and EPA only inhibited lung colonizations when administered together with the tumour cells, suggesting that their incorporation is necessary for an influence to be exerted. Chromatography confirmed that contents of fatty acids in both tumour tissues and plasma were indeed affected by the treatments. Tumour cells pretreated with fatty acids in vivo, in particular DHA, also showed a low potential for lung colony formation when transferred to new hosts. Thus, DHA treatment exerted marked antimetastatic activity associated with pronounced change in the fatty acid component of tumour cells. The results indicate that uptake of DHA into tumour cells results in altered tumour cell membrane characteristics and a decreased ability to metastasize.
Cross-sectional studies have found that an elevated ratio of arachidonic acid to omega-3 fatty acid is associated with depression, and controlled intervention studies have found that decreasing this ratio through administration of omega-3 fatty acids can alleviate depressive symptoms. Additionally, arachidonic acid and omega-3 fatty acids have opposing effects on inflammatory signaling. Exogenous administration of the inflammatory cytokine interferon-alpha (IFN-α) can trigger a depressive episode in a subset of vulnerable people, though associated risk factors remain poorly understood. Using a within-subject prospective design of 138 subjects, we examined whether baseline long-chain omega-3 (docosahexaenoic acid – DHA; eicosapentaenoic acid – EPA) and omega-6 (arachidonic acid – AA; di-homo-gamma-linolenic acid – DGLA) fatty acid status was associated with depression vulnerability in hepatitis C patients treated with IFN-α. Based on the literature, we had specific a priori interest in the AA/EPA+DHA ratio. Lower baseline DHA predicted depression incidence (p=0.04), as did elevated DGLA (p=0.02) and an elevated AA/EPA+DHA ratio (p=0.007). The AA/EPA+DHA ratio predicted depression even when controlling for other critical variables such as sleep quality and race. A higher AA/EPA+DHA ratio was positively associated with both increasing Montgomery-Asperg Depression Rating Scores over time (F=4.0; p<0.05) as well as interleukin-6 levels (F=107.4; p<0.05) but not C-reactive protein. Importantly, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid status was not associated with sustained viral response to IFN-α treatment. These prospective data support the role of fatty acid status in depression vulnerability and indicate a potential role for omega-3 fatty acids in the prevention of inflammation-induced depression.
Omega-3 fatty acids; Inflammation; Arachidonic acid; Cytokine; Interleukin-6; C-reactive protein; Major depressive disorder
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are the major n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in fish oil that decrease the risk of prostate cancer. Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are the main leukocytes of intratumoral infiltration, and increased TAMs correlates with poor prostate cancer prognosis. However, the mechanism of n-3 PUFAs on prostate cancer cell progression induced by TAMs is not well understood. In this study, we investigated the effects of EPA and DHA on modulating of migration and invasion of prostate cancer cells induced by TAMs-like M2-type macrophages. PC-3 prostate cancer cells were pretreated with EPA, DHA, or the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-γ antagonist, GW9662, before exposure to conditioned medium (CM). CM was derived from M2-polarized THP-1 macrophages. The migratory and invasive abilities of PC-3 cells were evaluated using a coculture system of M2-type macrophages and PC-3 cells. EPA/DHA administration decreased migration and invasion of PC-3 cells. The PPAR-γ DNA-binding activity and cytosolic inhibitory factor κBα (IκBα) protein expression increased while the nuclear factor (NF)-κB p65 transcriptional activity and nuclear NF-κB p65 protein level decreased in PC-3 cells incubated with CM in the presence of EPA/DHA. Further, EPA/DHA downregulated mRNA expressions of matrix metalloproteinase-9, cyclooxygenase-2, vascular endothelial growth factor, and macrophage colony-stimulating factor. Pretreatment with GW9662 abolished the favorable effects of EPA/DHA on PC-3 cells. These results indicate that EPA/DHA administration reduced migration, invasion and macrophage chemotaxis of PC-3 cells induced by TAM-like M2-type macrophages, which may partly be explained by activation of PPAR-γ and decreased NF-κB p65 transcriptional activity.
Treatment with the ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) docosahexanoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) exerts cardioprotective effects, and suppresses Ca2+-induced opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP). These effects are associated with increased DHA and EPA, and lower arachidonic acid (ARA) in cardiac phospholipids. While clinical studies suggest the triglyceride lowering effects of DHA and EPA are equivalent, little is known about the independent effects of DHA and EPA on mitochondria function. We compared the effects of dietary supplementation with the ω-3 PUFAs DHA and EPA on cardiac mitochondrial phospholipid fatty acid composition and Ca2+-induced MPTP opening. Rats were fed a standard lab diet with either normal low levels of ω-3 PUFA, or DHA or EPA at 2.5% of energy intake for 8 weeks, and cardiac mitochondria were isolated and analyzed for Ca2+-induced MPTP opening and phospholipid fatty acyl composition. DHA supplementation increased both DHA and EPA and decreased ARA in mitochondrial phospholipid, and significantly delayed MPTP opening as assessed by increased Ca2+ retention capacity and decreased Ca2+-induced mitochondria swelling. EPA supplementation increased EPA in mitochondrial phospholipids, but did not affect DHA, only modestly lowered ARA, and did not affect MPTP opening. In summary, dietary supplementation with DHA but not EPA, profoundly altered mitochondrial phospholipid fatty acid composition and delayed Ca2+-induced MPTP opening.
cardiac; eicosapentaenoic acid; docosahexaenoic acid; fish oil; heart; mitochondrial permeability transition pore
Bioactivities of Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) depend on their chemical forms. The present study was to investigate short term effects of triglyceride (TG), ethyl ester (EE), free fatty acid (FFA) and phospholipid (PL) forms of omega-3 fatty acid (FA) on lipid metabolism in mice, fed high fat or low fat diet.
Male Balb/c mice were fed with 0.7% different Omega-3 fatty acid formulation: DHA bound free fatty acid (DHA-FFA), DHA bound triglyceride (DHA-TG), DHA bound ethyl ester (DHA-EE) and DHA bound phospholipid (DHA-PL) for 1 week, with dietary fat levels at 5% and 22.5%. Serum and hepatic lipid concentrations were analyzed, as well as the fatty acid composition of liver and brain.
At low fat level, serum total cholesterol (TC) level in mice fed diets with DHA-FFA, DHA-EE and DHA-PL were significantly lower than that in the control group (P < 0.05). Hepatic TG level decreased significantly in mice fed diets with DHA-TG (P < 0.05), DHA-EE (P < 0.05) and DHA-PL (P < 0.05), while TC level in liver was significantly lower in mice fed diets with TG and EE compared with the control group (P < 0.05). At high fat level, mice fed diets with DHA-EE and DHA-PL had significantly lower hepatic TC level compared with the control diet (P < 0.05). Hepatic PL concentration experienced a significant increase in mice fed the diet with PL at high fat level (P < 0.05). Furthermore, both at low and high fat levels, hepatic DHA level significantly increased and AA level significantly decreased in all forms of DHA groups (P < 0.05), compared to control groups at two different fat levels, respectively. Additionally, cerebral DHA level in mice fed diets with DHA-FFA, DHA-EE and DHA-PL significantly increased compared with the control at high fat level (P < 0.05), but no significant differences were observed among dietary treatments for mice fed diets with low fat level.
The present study suggested that not only total dietary fat content but also the molecular forms of omega-3 fatty acids contributed to lipid metabolism in mice. DHA-PL showed effective bioactivity in decreasing hepatic and serum TC, TG levels and increasing omega-3 concentration in liver and brain.
Omega-3 fatty acid; DHA; EPA; Lipid metabolism; Triglycerides; Ethyl ester; Phospholipids
In the present study the putative chemopreventive effect of dietary fish oil (MaxEPA) on azaserine-induced pancreatic carcinogenesis in rats was investigated. Groups of rats were maintained on a semipurified low-fat (LF; 5 wt%) diet or on semipurified high-fat (HF; 25 wt%) diets containing 5 wt% linoleic acid (LA) and including 0.0, 1.2, 2.4, 4.7, 7.1 or 9.4 wt% MaxEPA. Animals fed a HF diet developed significantly higher mean numbers of atypical acinar cell nodules (AACNs), adenomas and carcinomas than animals fed a LF diet. Dietary MaxEPA caused a significant (P < 0.01) dose-related increase in mean number of AACNs (0.5 < phi < 3.0 mm). The mean number of adenomas and carcinomas remained similar among the groups. Cell proliferation was significantly lower in AACNs from animals fed HF containing 9.4% MaxEPA in comparison with HF without MaxEPA and with LF. LA levels had increased and arachidonic acid (AA) levels had decreased in blood plasma and pancreas with increasing dietary MaxEPA. Feeding MaxEPA resulted in significant decreases in 6-keto-prostaglandin (PG) F1 alpha (P < 0.05) and PGF2 alpha (P < 0.01) in non-tumorous pancreas, whereas PGE2, PGF2 alpha and thromboxane B2 (TXB2) levels were significantly (P < 0.001) higher in pancreatic tumour tissue than in non-tumorous pancreatic tissue. It is concluded that (i) dietary MaxEPA enhances dose-relatively growth of putative preneoplastic AACNs in the pancreas of azaserine-treated rats; (ii) dietary MaxEPA inhibits the conversion of LA to AA, as well as the conversion of AA to TXB2 or PGF2 alpha in non-tumorous pancreatic tissue; (iii) the high levels of PGE2, PGF2 alpha and TXB2 in pancreatic adenocarcinomas indicate a possible role for these eicosanoids in modulation of tumour growth.
The type rather than the amount of dietary fat may be more important in breast carcinogenesis. While animal studies support this view, little is known about the effects of essential fatty acids (EFAs) at the cellular level. The MCF-7 breast cancer and the MCF-10A non-cancerous human mammary epithelial cell lines are compared in terms of growth response to EFAs and ability to incorporate and process the EFAs. Eicosapentaenoic (EPA, n-3) and docosahexaenoic (DHA, n-3) acids, presented bound to albumin, inhibited the growth of MCF-7 cells by as much as 50% in a dose-dependent manner (6-30 microM) in medium containing 0.5% serum. alpha-Linolenic (LNA, n-3) and arachidonic (AA, n-6) acids inhibited growth less extensively, while linoleic acid (LA, n-6) had no effect. In contrast, MCF-10A cells were not inhibited by any of the EFAs at levels below 24 microM. The differential effects of AA, EPA and DHA on MCF-7 and MCF-10A cells support a protective role of highly unsaturated essential fatty acids against breast cancer. The EFAs were primarily incorporated into phosphoglycerides. MCF-7 cells showed chain elongations and possibly delta 8 desaturation, but no AA was formed from LA, nor EPA or DHA from LNA. In contrast, MCF-10A cells desaturated and elongated the exogenous EFAs via all the known pathways. These findings suggest defects in the desaturating enzymes of MCF-7 cells. LNA, DHA and AA presented to MCF-7 cells in phospholipid liposomes inhibited growth as extensively as albumin-bound free acids, but were less extensively incorporated, suggesting different mechanisms of inhibition for the two methods.
Consumption of ω-3 fatty acids from fish oil, specifically eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), decreases risk for heart failure and attenuates pathologic cardiac remodeling in response to pressure overload. Dietary supplementation with EPA+DHA may also impact cardiac mitochondrial function and energetics through alteration of membrane phospholipids. We assessed the role of EPA+DHA supplementation on left ventricular (LV) function, cardiac mitochondrial membrane phospholipid composition, respiration, and sensitivity to mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP) opening in normal and infarcted myocardium. Rats were subjected to sham surgery or myocardial infarction by coronary artery ligation (n=10–14), and fed a standard diet, or supplemented with EPA+DHA (2.3% of energy intake) for 12 weeks. EPA+DHA altered fatty acid composition of total mitochondrial phospholipids and cardiolipin by reducing arachidonic acid content and increasing DHA incorporation. EPA+DHA significantly increased calcium uptake capacity in both subsarcolemmal and intrafibrillar mitochondria from sham rats. This treatment effect persisted with the addition of cyclosporin A, and was not accompanied by changes in mitochondrial respiration or coupling, or cyclophilin D protein expression. Myocardial infarction resulted in heart failure as evidenced by LV dilation and contractile dysfunction. Infarcted LV myocardium had decreased mitochondrial protein yield and activity of mitochondrial marker enzymes, however respiratory function of isolated mitochondria was normal. EPA+DHA had no effect on LV function, mitochondrial respiration, or MPTP opening in rats with heart failure. In conclusion, dietary supplementation with EPA+DHA altered mitochondrial membrane phospholipid fatty acid composition in normal and infarcted hearts, but delayed MPTP opening only in normal hearts.
eicosapentaenoic acid; docosahexaenoic acid; myocardial infarction; mitochondrial permeability transition pore
Epidemiological evidence strongly links fish oil, which is rich in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), with low incidences of several types of cancer. The inhibitory effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on cancer development and progression are supported by studies with cultured cells and animal models. Propofol (2,6-diisopropylphenol) is the most extensively used general anesthetic–sedative agent employed today and is nontoxic to humans at high levels (50 μg/ml). Clinically relevant concentrations of propofol (3 to 8 μg/ml; 20 to 50 μM) have also been reported to have anticancer activities. The present study describes the synthesis, purification, characterization and evaluation of two novel anticancer conjugates, propofol-docosahexaenoate (propofol-DHA) and propofol-eicosapentaenoate (propofol-EPA).
The conjugates linking an omega-3 fatty acid, either DHA or EPA, with propofol were synthesized and tested for their effects on migration, adhesion and apoptosis on MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells.
At low concentrations (25 μM), DHA, EPA or propofol alone or in combination had minimal effect on cell adhesion to vitronectin, cell migration against serum and the induction of apoptosis (only 5 to 15% of the cells became apoptotic). In contrast, the propofol-DHA or propofol-EPA conjugates significantly inhibited cell adhesion (15 to 30%) and migration (about 50%) and induced apoptosis (about 40%) in breast cancer cells.
These results suggest that the novel propofol-DHA and propofol-EPA conjugates reported here may be useful for the treatment of breast cancer.
Several studies have shown that dietary lipid exerts an effect on carcinogenesis. We report here that progression to malignancy in vitro is associated with changes in the response to fatty acids (FAs). Tumorigenic (THKE) cells were more sensitive to the n-3 FAs eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) than immortalised (IHKE) cells. The growth of THKE cells was inhibited 25% more than the growth of IHKE cells at 80 microM EPA (P < 0.01) and 35% more at 40 microM DHA (P < 0.001). Furthermore, the results indicate that there is a wide cell type variation in the response to FAs. We found that the in vitro inhibition by FAs correlated with the reduction in the growth rate of the tumour in nude mice fed K85 (55% EPA and 30% DHA). A significant difference in tumour latency was observed for the A427 cell tumour groups (10 days, P < 0.05). Tumours in the animals fed n-3 FA exhibited significantly higher levels of EPA and DHA; the level of arachidonic acid (ARA) was significantly lower in THKE tumours and the level of linoleic acid (LA) was significantly lower in A427 tumours than in controls fed corn oil. The higher sensitivity of the A427 cell line was not explained by higher uptake of EPA/DHA.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common human cancer with high mortality and currently there is no effective chemoprevention or systematic treatment. Recent evidence suggests that COX-2-derived PGE2 and Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathways are implicated in hepatocarcinogenesis. Here we report that ω-3 PUFAs, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), inhibit HCC growth through simultaneously inhibition of COX-2 and β-catenin. DHA and EPA treatment resulted in a dose-dependent reduction of cell viability with cleavage of PARP, caspase-3 and caspase-9 in three human HCC cell lines (Hep3B, Huh-7, HepG2). In contrast, arachidonic acid (AA), a ω-6 PUFA, exhibited no significant effect. DHA and EPA treatment caused dephosphorylation and thus activation of GSK-3β, leading to β-catenin degradation in Hep3B cells. The GSK3-β inhibitor, LiCl, partially prevented DHA-induced β-catenin protein degradation and apoptosis. Additionally, DHA induced the formation of β-catenin/Axin/GSK-3β binding complex, which serves as a parallel mechanism for β-catenin degradation. Furthermore, DHA inhibited PGE2 signaling through downregulation of COX-2 and upregulation of the COX-2 antagonist, 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase (15-PGDH). Finally, the growth of HCC in vivo was significantly reduced when mouse HCCs (Hepa1–6) were inoculated into the Fat-1 transgenic mice which express a Caenorhabditis elegans desaturase converting ω-6 to ω-3 PUFAs endogenously. These findings provide important preclinical evidence and molecular insight for utilization of ω-3 PUFAs for the chemoprevention and treatment of human HCC.
hepatocellular carcinoma; omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid; beta-catenin; cyclooxygenase-2; prostaglandin E2; 15-PGDH
We questioned if acute administration of n-3 fatty acids (FA) carried in n-3 rich triglyceride (TG) emulsions provides neuroprotection in neonatal mice subjected to hypoxic-ischemic (H/I) brain injury. We examined specificity of FA, optimal doses, and therapeutic windows for neuroprotection after H/I. H/I insult was induced in C57BL/6J 10-day-old mice by right carotid artery ligation followed by exposure to 8% O2 for 15 minutes at 37°C. Intraperitoneal injection with n-3-rich TG emulsions, n-6 rich TG emulsions or saline for control was administered at different time points before and/or after H/I. In separate experiments, dose responses were determined with TG containing only docosahexaenoic acid (Tri-DHA) or eicosapentaenoic acid (Tri-EPA) with a range of 0.1–0.375 g n-3 TG/kg, administered immediately after H/I insult. Infarct volume and cerebral blood flow (CBF) were measured. Treatment with n-3 TG emulsions both before- and after- H/I significantly reduced total infarct volume by a mean of 43% when administered 90 min prior to H/I and by 47% when administered immediately after H/I. In post-H/I experiments Tri-DHA, but not Tri-EPA exhibited neuroprotective effects with both low and high doses (p<0.05). Moreover, delayed post-H/I treatment with Tri-DHA significantly decreased total infarct volume by a mean of 51% when administered at 0 hr, by 46% at 1 hr, and by 51% at 2 hr after H/I insult. No protective effect occurred with Tri-DHA injection at 4 hr after H/I. There were no n-3 TG related differences in CBF. A significant reduction in brain tissue death was maintained after Tri-DHA injection at 8 wk after the initial brain injury. Thus, n-3 TG, specifically containing DHA, is protective against H/I induced brain infarction when administered up to 2 hr after H/I injury. Acute administration of TG-rich DHA may prove effective for treatment of stroke in humans.
The long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs)—eicosapentaenoic
acid (EPA) and its metabolite docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)—inhibit cancer formation
in vivo, but their mechanism of action is unclear. Extracellular
signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) activation and inhibition have both been associated
with the induction of tumour cell apoptosis by n-3 PUFAs. We show here that low doses of
EPA, in particular, inhibited the growth of premalignant and malignant keratinocytes more
than the growth of normal counterparts by a combination of cell cycle arrest and
apoptosis. The growth inhibition of the oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) lines, but not
normal keratinocytes, by both n-3 PUFAs was associated with epidermal growth factor
receptor (EGFR) autophosphorylation, a sustained phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and its
downstream target p90RSK but not with phosphorylation of the PI3 kinase target Akt.
Inhibition of EGFR with either the EGFR kinase inhibitor AG1478 or an EGFR-blocking
antibody inhibited ERK1/2 phosphorylation, and the blocking antibody partially antagonized
growth inhibition by EPA but not by DHA. DHA generated more reactive oxygen species and
activated more c-jun N-terminal kinase than EPA, potentially explaining its increased
toxicity to normal keratinocytes. Our results show that, in part, EPA specifically
inhibits SCC growth and development by creating a sustained signalling imbalance to
amplify the EGFR/ERK/p90RSK pathway in neoplastic keratinocytes to a supraoptimal level,
supporting the chemopreventive potential of EPA, whose toxicity to normal cells might be
reduced further by blocking its metabolism to DHA. Furthermore, ERK1/2 phosphorylation may
have potential as a biomarker of n-3 PUFA function in vivo.
Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are considered essential omega-3 fatty acids in human nutrition. In marine microalgae EPA and/or DHA are allegedly involved in the regulation of membrane fluidity and thylakoid membrane functioning. The cellular content of EPA and DHA may therefore be enhanced at low temperature and irradiance conditions. As a result, polar and cold temperate marine microalgal species might potentially be suitable candidates for commercial EPA and DHA production, given their adaptation to low temperature and irradiance habitats.
In the present study we investigated inter- and intraspecific EPA and DHA variability in five polar and (cold) temperate microalgae. Intraspecific EPA and DHA content did not vary significantly in an Antarctic (Chaetoceros brevis) and a temperate (Thalassiosira weissflogii) centric diatom after acclimation to a range of irradiance levels at two temperatures. Interspecific variability was investigated for two Antarctic (Chaetoceros brevis and Pyramimonas sp. (Prasinophyceae)) and three cold-temperate species (Thalassiosira weissflogii, Emiliania huxleyi (Prymnesiophyceae) and Fibrocapsa japonica (Raphidophyceae)) during exponential growth. Interspecific variability was shown to be much more important than intraspecific variability. Highest relative and absolute levels of DHA were measured in the prymnesiophyte E. huxleyi and the prasinophyte Pyramimonas sp., while levels of EPA were high in the raphidophyte F. japonica and the diatoms C. brevis and T. weissflogii. Yet, no significant differences in LC-PUFA content were found between polar and cold-temperate species. Also, EPA and DHA production rates varied strongly between species. Highest EPA production rate (174 μg L-1 day-1) was found in the Antarctic diatom Chaetoceros brevis, while DHA production was highest in the cold-temperate prymnesiophyte Emiliania huxleyi (164 μg L-1 day-1). We show that, following careful species selection, effective mass cultivation of marine microalgae for EPA and DHA production may be possible under low temperature and irradiance conditions.
Eicosapentaenoic acid; Docosahexaenoic acid; Thalassiosira weissflogii; Chaetoceros brevis; Fibrocapsa japonica; Emiliania huxleyi; Pyramimonas sp.
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are functionally the most important omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Oral supply of these fatty acids increases their levels in plasma and cell membranes, often at the expense of the omega-6 PUFAs arachidonic acid (ARA) and linoleic acid. This results in an altered pattern of lipid mediator production to one which is less pro-inflammatory. We investigated whether short term intravenous supply of omega-3 PUFAs could change the levels of EPA, DHA, ARA and linoleic acid in plasma and erythrocytes in patients with hepatic colorectal metastases.
Twenty patients were randomised to receive a 72 hour infusion of total parenteral nutrition with (treatment group) or without (control group) omega-3 PUFAs. EPA, DHA, ARA and linoleic acid were measured in plasma phosphatidylcholine (PC) and erythrocytes at several times points up to the end of infusion and 5 to 12 days (mean 9 days) after stopping the infusion.
The treatment group showed increases in plasma PC EPA and DHA and erythrocyte EPA and decreases in plasma PC and erythrocyte linoleic acid, with effects most evident late in the infusion period. Plasma PC and erythrocyte EPA and linoleic acid all returned to baseline levels after the 5–12 day washout. Plasma PC DHA remained elevated above baseline after washout.
Intravenous supply of omega-3 PUFAs results in a rapid increase of EPA and DHA in plasma PC and of EPA in erythrocytes. These findings suggest that infusion of omega-3 PUFAs could be used to induce a rapid effect especially in targeting inflammation.
http://www.clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT00942292
Parenteral nutrition; Fish oil; Omega-3 fatty acids; Eicosapentaenoic acid; Docosahexaenoic acid; Arachidonic acid; Liver metastases
Dietary intake of long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) has been reported to decrease several markers of lymphocyte activation and modulate monocyte susceptibility to apoptosis. However most human studies examined the combined effect of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) using relatively high daily amounts of n-3 PUFA. The present study investigated the effects of increasing doses of DHA added to the regular diet of human healthy volunteers on lymphocyte response to tetradecanoylphorbol acetate (TPA) plus ionomycin activation, and on monocyte apoptosis induced by oxidized LDL (oxLDL). Eight subjects were supplemented with increasing daily doses of DHA (200, 400, 800 and 1600mg) in a triacylglycerol form containing DHA as the only PUFA, for two weeks each dose. DHA intake dose-dependently increased the proportion of DHA in mononuclear cell phospholipids, the augmentation being significant after 400mg DHA/day. The TPA plus ionomycin-stimulated IL-2 mRNA level started to increase after ingestion of 400mg DHA/day, with a maximum after 800mg intake, and was positively correlated (P<0.003) with DHA enrichment in cell phospholipids. The treatment of monocytes by oxLDL before DHA supplementation drastically reduced mitochondrial membrane potential as compared with native LDL treatment. OxLDL apoptotic effect was significantly attenuated after 400mg DHA/day and the protective effect was maintained throughout the experiment, although to a lesser extent at higher doses. The present results show that supplementation of the human diet with low DHA dosages improves lymphocyte activability. It also increases monocyte resistance to oxLDL-induced apoptosis, which may be beneficial in the prevention of atherosclerosis.
DHA enrichment; interleukin-2; mitochondrial membrane potential; oxidized LDL
This review focuses on developments after 2008, when the topic was last reviewed by the author. Pertinent publications were found by medline searches and in the author’s personal data base. Prevention of atrial fibrillation (AF) was investigated in a number of trials, sparked by one positive report on the effects of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), considerations of upstream therapy, data from electrophysiologic laboratories and animal experiments. If EPA + DHA prevent postoperative AF, the effect is probably smaller than initially expected. The same is probably true for maintenance of sinus rhythm after cardioversion and for new-onset AF. Larger trials are currently ongoing. Prevention of ventricular arrhythmias was studied in carriers of an implanted cardioverter-defibrillator, with no clear results. This might have been due to a broad definition of the primary endpoint, including any ventricular arrhythmia and any action of the device. Epidemiologic studies support the contention that high levels of EPA + DHA prevent sudden cardiac death (SCD). However, since SCD is a rare occurrence, it is difficult to conduct an adequately powered trial. In patients with congestive heart failure, EPA + DHA reduced total mortality and rehospitalizations, but not SCD or presumed arrhythmic death. Of three trials in patients after a myocardial infarction, two were inadequately powered, and in one, the dose might have been too low. Taken together, while epidemiologic studies support an inverse relation between EPA + DHA and occurrence of SCD or arrhythmic death, demonstrating this effect in intervention trials remained elusive so far. A pro-arrhythmic effect of EPA + DHA has not been seen in intervention studies, and results of epidemiologic and animal studies also rather argue against such an effect. A different, and probably more productive, perspective is provided by a standardized analytical assessment of a person’s status in EPA + DHA by use of the omega-3 index, EPA + DHA in red cell fatty acids. In populations with a high omega-3 index, SCD is rare. Intervention trials can become more effective by including a low omega-3 index into the inclusion criteria, thus creating a study population more likely to demonstrate an effect of EPA + DHA. This is especially relevant in case of rare endpoints, like new-onset AF or SCD.
eicosapentaenoic acid; docosahexaenoic acid; omega-3 fatty acids; omega-3 index; atrial fibrillation; ventricular tachycardia; ventricular fibrillation; sudden cardiac death
Supplementation with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) from fish oil may prevent development of heart failure through alterations in cardiac phospholipids that favorably impact inflammation and energy metabolism. A high-fat diet may block these effects in chronically stressed myocardium. Pathological left ventricle (LV) hypertrophy was generated by subjecting rats to pressure overload by constriction of the abdominal aorta. Animals were fed: (1) standard diet (10% of energy from fat), (2) standard diet with EPA+DHA (2.3% of energy intake as EPA+DHA), (3) high fat (60% fat); or (4) high fat with EPA+DHA. Pressure overload increased LV mass by ≈40% in both standard and high-fat diets without fish oil. Supplementation with fish oil increased their incorporation into cardiac phospholipids, and decreased the proinflammatory fatty acid arachidonic acid and urine thromboxane B2 with both the standard and high-fat diet. Linoleic acid and tetralinoloyl cardiolipin (an essential mitochondrial phospholipid) were decreased with pressure overload on standard diet, which was prevented by fish oil. Animals fed high-fat diet had decreased linoleic acid and tetralinoloyl cardiolipin regardless of fish oil supplemention. Fish oil limited LV hypertrophy on the standard diet, and prevented upregulation of fetal genes associated with heart failure (myosin heavy chain-β and atrial natriuetic factor). These beneficial effects of fish oil were absent in animals on the high-fat diet. In conclusion, whereas treatment with EPA+DHA prevented tetralinoloyl cardiolipin depletion, LV hypertrophy, and abnormal genes expression with pressure overload, these effects were absent with a high-fat diet.
Omega-3 fatty acids; cardiac hypertrophy; heart failure; cardiolipin; phospolipids
Metabolic syndrome is implicated in the decline of cognitive ability. We investigated whether the prescription n-3 fatty acid administration improves cognitive learning ability in SHR.Cg-Leprcp/NDmcr (SHR-cp) rats, a metabolic syndrome model, in comparison with administration of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, C20:5, n-3) alone. Administration of TAK-085 [highly purified and concentrated n-3 fatty acid formulation containing EPA ethyl ester and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, C22:6, n-3) ethyl ester] at 300 mg/kg body weight per day for 13 weeks reduced the number of reference memory-related errors in SHR-cp rats, but EPA alone had no effect, suggesting that long-term TAK-085 administration improves cognitive learning ability in a rat model of metabolic syndrome. However, the working memory-related errors were not affected in either of the rat groups. TAK-085 and EPA administration increased plasma EPA and DHA levels of SHR-cp rats, associating with an increase in EPA and DHA in the cerebral cortex. The TAK-085 administration decreased the lipid peroxide levels and reactive oxygen species in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of SHR-cp rats, suggesting that TAK-085 increases antioxidative defenses. Its administration also increased the brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels in the cortical and hippocampal tissues of TAK-085-administered rats. The present study suggests that long-term TAK-085 administration is a possible therapeutic strategy for protecting against metabolic syndrome-induced learning decline.
Metabolic syndrome; Memory; BDNF; Docosahexaenoic acid; Eicosapentaenoic acid
This study examined the dose-dependent effects of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplementation on heart rate variability (HRV) at rest and during standard laboratory stress tasks. We also investigated whether EPA + DHA supplementation was associated with changes in mood state.
This placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized, three-period crossover trial (8-week treatment, 6-week washout) compared two doses of EPA + DHA supplementation (0.85 and 3.4 g/d) in 26 adults with elevated triglycerides. After each treatment period, HRV was assessed during an acute stress protocol that included a resting baseline, standard laboratory stress tasks (speech task and cold pressor), and recovery periods. In addition, mood state was assessed.
Root mean square of successive differences in interbeat interval and total power increased 9.9% and 20.6%, respectively, after the high dose relative to placebo (Tukey p = .016 and .012, respectively). The low dose was not significantly different from the high dose or placebo dose. There was a trend for a treatment effect on high-frequency HRV (p = .058), with 21.0% greater power observed after the high dose compared with placebo (Tukey p = .052). Mood did not differ between treatments, and there was no association between mood state and HRV.
In healthy adults with elevated triglycerides, supplementation of 3.4 g/d EPA + DHA resulted in greater HRV, whereas 0.85 g/d EPA + DHA had no effect. These results indicate that EPA + DHA supplementation may improve autonomic tone in adults at increased risk for cardiovascular disease within 8 weeks.
heart rate variability; acute stress; omega-3 fatty acids; eicosapentaenoic acid; docosahexaenoic acid
Consumption of oily fish is sporadic, whereas controlled intervention studies of n–3 (ω-3) fatty acids usually provide capsules containing eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) as a daily dose. This methodologic study explored whether there are differences in the short-, medium-, and long-term incorporation of EPA and DHA into blood plasma and cells with the provision of identical amounts of EPA and DHA, equivalent to 2 oily fish servings per week (or 6.54 g/wk EPA and DHA), either intermittently (i.e., 1 portion twice per week) or continuously (i.e., divided into daily amounts). The study was part of a randomized, double-blind controlled intervention lasting 12 mo, with participants stratified by age and sex. There were 5 intervention groups, 2 of which are reported here: the 2 intermittent portions (2I) and 2 continuous portions (2C) groups. EPA and DHA were measured in plasma phosphatidylcholine, platelets, and blood mononuclear cells (MNCs) at 9 time points. Sixty-five participants completed the study (2I group, n = 30, mean age of 49.2 y; 2C group, n = 35, mean age of 50.6 y). The incorporation pattern over the 12-mo intervention was different between the 2 groups in all samples (P < 0.0001, time × treatment interaction). At the end of the 12-mo intervention, the 2C group had higher EPA, DHA, and EPA + DHA in platelets (all P < 0.01) and higher EPA and EPA + DHA in MNCs (both P < 0.05) compared with the 2I group. No significant differences were shown for plasma phosphatidylcholine EPA (P = 0.1), DHA (P = 0.15), EPA + DHA (P = 0.07), or MNC DHA (P = 0.06). In conclusion, the pattern of consumption does affect the incorporation of EPA and DHA into cells used as biomarkers of intake. The differences identified here need to be considered in the design of studies and when extrapolating results from continuous capsule-based intervention studies to dietary guidelines for oily fish consumption. This trial was registered at www.controlled-trials.com as ISRCTN48398526.
Long chain fatty acids influence inflammation through a variety of mechanisms; many of these are mediated by, or at least associated with, changes in fatty acid composition of cell membranes. Changes in these compositions can modify membrane fluidity, cell signaling leading to altered gene expression, and the pattern of lipid mediator production. Cell involved in the inflammatory response are typically rich in the n-6 fatty acid arachidonic acid, but the contents of arachidonic acid and of the n-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) can be altered through oral administration of EPA and DHA. Eicosanoids produced from arachidonic acid have roles in inflammation. EPA also gives rise to eicosanoids and these often have differing properties from those of arachidonic acid-derived eicosanoids. EPA and DHA give rise to newly discovered resolvins which are anti-inflammatory and inflammation resolving. Increased membrane content of EPA and DHA (and decreased arachidonic acid content) results in a changed pattern of production of eicosanoids and resolvins. Changing the fatty acid composition of cells involved in the inflammatory response also affects production of peptide mediators of inflammation (adhesion molecules, cytokines etc.). Thus, the fatty acid composition of cells involved in the inflammatory response influences their function; the contents of arachidonic acid, EPA and DHA appear to be especially important. The anti-inflammatory effects of marine n-3 PUFAs suggest that they may be useful as therapeutic agents in disorders with an inflammatory component.
leukocyte; neutrophil; macrophage; monocyte; eicosanoid; cytokine; interleukin; fish oil
Brain eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) levels are 250- to 300-fold lower than docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), at least partly, because EPA is rapidly β-oxidized and lost from brain phospholipids. Therefore, we examined if β-oxidation was necessary for maintaining low EPA levels by inhibiting β-oxidation with methyl palmoxirate (MEP). Furthermore, because other metabolic differences between DHA and EPA may also contribute to their vastly different levels, this study aimed to quantify the incorporation and turnover of DHA and EPA into brain phospholipids. Fifteen-week-old rats were subjected to vehicle or MEP prior to a 5 min intravenous infusion of 14C-palmitate, 14C-DHA, or 14C-EPA. MEP reduced the radioactivity of brain aqueous fractions for 14C-palmitate-, 14C-EPA-, and 14C-DHA-infused rats by 74, 54, and 23%, respectively; while it increased the net rate of incorporation of plasma unesterified palmitate into choline glycerophospholipids and phosphatidylinositol and EPA into ethanolamine glycerophospholipids and phosphatidylserine. MEP also increased the synthesis of n-3 docosapentaenoic acid (n-3 DPA) from EPA. Moreover, the recycling of EPA into brain phospholipids was 154-fold lower than DHA. Therefore, the low levels of EPA in the brain are maintained by multiple redundant pathways including β-oxidation, decreased incorporation from plasma unesterified FA pool, elongation/desaturation to n-3 DPA, and lower recycling within brain phospholipids.
incorporation; turnover; kinetics; β-oxidation