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1.  Crosstalk between Helicobacter pylori and Gastric Epithelial Cells Is Impaired by Docosahexaenoic Acid 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e60657.
H. pylori colonizes half of the world's population leading to gastritis, ulcers and gastric cancer. H. pylori strains resistant to antibiotics are increasing which raises the need for alternative therapeutic approaches. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) has been shown to decrease H. pylori growth and its associated-inflammation through mechanisms poorly characterized. We aimed to explore DHA action on H. pylori-mediated inflammation and adhesion to gastric epithelial cells (AGS) and also to identify bacterial structures affected by DHA. H. pylori growth and metabolism was assessed in liquid cultures. Bacterial adhesion to AGS cells was visualized by transmission electron microscopy and quantified by an Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay. Inflammatory proteins were assessed by immunoblotting in infected AGS cells, previously treated with DHA. Bacterial total and outer membrane protein composition was analyzed by 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Concentrations of 100 µM of DHA decreased H. pylori growth, whereas concentrations higher than 250 µM irreversibly inhibited bacteria survival. DHA reduced ATP production and adhesion to AGS cells. AGS cells infected with DHA pre-treated H. pylori showed a 3-fold reduction in Interleukin-8 (IL-8) production and a decrease of COX2 and iNOS. 2D electrophoresis analysis revealed that DHA changed the expression of H. pylori outer membrane proteins associated with stress response and metabolism and modified bacterial lipopolysaccharide phenotype. As conclusions our results show that DHA anti-H. pylori effects are associated with changes of bacteria morphology and metabolism, and with alteration of outer membrane proteins composition, that ultimately reduce the adhesion of bacteria and the burden of H. pylori-related inflammation.
PMCID: PMC3618039  PMID: 23577140
2.  Use of PCR and culture to detect Helicobacter pylori in naturally infected cats following triple antimicrobial therapy. 
Helicobacter pylori causes gastritis and peptic ulcers and is linked to gastric cancer. Domestic cats from a commercial source were found to be naturally infected with H. pylori, and studies were undertaken to eradicate H. pylori from infected cats by using triple antimicrobial therapy. Eight cats infected with H. pylori were used in the study. Six cats received a 21-day course of oral amoxicillin, metronidazole, and omeprazole, and two cats served as controls. Two weeks and 4 weeks posttreatment (p.t.), all six treated cats were negative at several sites (saliva, gastric juice, and gastric mucosa) for H. pylori by culture. However, as determined by PCR with primers specific for the 26-kDa product, the majority of cats at 2 and 4 weeks p.t. had gastric fluid samples which were positive for H. pylori and three of three cats at 2 weeks p.t. had dental plaque which was positive for H. pylori. At 6 weeks p.t., all six cats had H. pylori-negative cultures for samples from several gastric sites taken at necropsy, and only one cat had H. pylori cultured from gastric juice. PCR analysis revealed that five of six cats had H. pylori DNA amplification products from plaque, saliva, and/or gastric fluid samples. Negative bacterial cultures for cats for which there was demonstrable PCR amplification of H. pylori DNA may reflect the inability of in vitro culture techniques to isolate small numbers of H. pylori organisms, focal colonization at sites not cultured, or a failure of the antibiotics to successfully eradicate H. pylori from extragastric sites which allowed subsequent recolonization of the stomach after cessation of therapy. Alternatively, the treatment strategy may have induced in vivo viable but nonculturable coccoid forms of H. pylori. The H. pylori cat model should allow further studies to test these hypotheses as well as the efficacies of other combined therapeutic regimens. Also, because 100% of these cats were naturally infected with H.pylori, this model should prove useful in exploring mechanisms whereby human populations in underdeveloped countries, which have H. pylori infection rates approaching 100%, have a high rate of recurrence of H. pylori infection after use of prescribed antibiotic therapies that successfully eradicate H. pylori in individuals in developed countries.
PMCID: PMC163354  PMID: 8726024
3.  Anti-Helicobacter pylori Properties of GutGard™ 
Presence of Helicobacter pylori is associated with an increased risk of developing upper gastrointestinal tract diseases. Antibiotic therapy and a combination of two or three drugs have been widely used to eradicate H. pylori infections. Due to antibiotic resistant drugs, new drug resources are needed such as plants which contain antibacterial compounds. The aim of this study was to investigate the ability of GutGard™ to inhibit H. pylori growth both in Mongolian gerbils and C57BL/6 mouse models. Male Mongolian gerbils were infected with the bacteria by intragastric inoculation (2×109 CFU/gerbil) 3 times over 5 days and then orally treated once daily 6 times/week for 8 weeks with 15, 30 and 60 mg/kg GutGard™. After the final administration, biopsy samples of the gastric mucosa were assayed for bacterial identification via urease, catalase and ELISA assays as well as immunohistochemistry (IHC). In the Mongolian gerbil model, IHC and ELISA assays revealed that GutGard™ inhibited H. pylori colonization in gastric mucosa in a dose dependent manner. The anti-H. pylori effects of GutGard™ in H. pylori-infected C57BL/6 mice were also examined. We found that treatment with 25 mg/kg GutGard™ significantly reduced H. pylori colonization in mice gastric mucosa. Our results suggest that GutGard™ may be useful as an agent to prevent H. pylori infection.
PMCID: PMC3892500  PMID: 24471118
H. pylori; G. glabra; gastric mucosa; colonization
4.  Helicobacter pylori infection 
Clinical Evidence  2009;2009:0406.
The principal effect of Helicobacter pylori infection is lifelong chronic gastritis, affecting up to 20% of younger adults but 50% to 80% of adults born in resource-rich countries before 1950.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of H pylori eradication treatment in people with a confirmed duodenal ulcer, a confirmed gastric ulcer, confirmed gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), confirmed non-ulcer dyspepsia, uninvestigated dyspepsia, localised B cell lymphoma of the stomach, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-related peptic ulcers? What are the effects of H pylori eradication treatment for preventing NSAID-related peptic ulcers in people with or without previous ulcers or dyspepsia? What are the effects of H pylori eradication treatment on the risk of developing gastric cancer? Do H pylori eradication treatments differ in their effects? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to September 2007 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically; please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
We found 58 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: effects of H pylori eradication in different populations; relative effects of triple regimens, quadruple regimens, and sequential regimens.
Key Points
The principal effect of Helicobacter pylori infection is lifelong chronic gastritis, affecting up to 20% of younger adults but 50% to 80% of adults born before 1950 in resource-rich countries. H pylori infection can be identified indirectly by the C13 urea breath test and stool antigen tests, which are more accurate than serology.Transmission and prevalence rates are higher in areas of childhood poverty. Adult reinfection rates are less than 1% a year.In people with H pylori infection, about 15% will develop a peptic ulcer and 1% will develop gastric cancer during their lifetime.
Eradication of H pylori makes healing of duodenal ulcers more likely and reduces the risk of bleeding with gastric and duodenal ulcers, either alone or when added to antisecretory drug treatment. Eradication also greatly reduces the risk of recurrence of a duodenal ulcer. Eradication reduces recurrence after healing of a gastric ulcer; however, we don't know whether it increases healing of gastric ulcers.Eradication of H pylori may reduce the risk of NSAID-related ulcers in people without previous ulcers; however, we don't know whether it reduces NSAID-related ulcers or bleeding in people with previous ulcers.
In areas of low prevalence of H pylori, few ulcers are caused by H pylori infection. Eradication may be less effective in preventing ulcers in these areas compared with higher-prevalence areas.
Eradication of H pylori reduces symptoms of dyspepsia, but not of GORD. Eradicating H pylori has been shown to reduce dyspeptic symptoms in people with non-ulcer dyspepsia or uninvestigated dyspepsia compared with placebo.
Despite the association between H pylori infection and gastric cancer, no studies have shown a reduced risk after eradication treatment. Gastric B cell lymphoma lesions may regress after H pylori eradication, but we don't know this for sure.
Quadruple and triple regimens seem equally effective at eradicating H pylori as first-line treatments. Quadruple regimens may be more effective as second-line treatment than triple regimens when a first-line triple regimen has failed to eradicate the infection. However, the evidence is limited in that, in comparisons of second-line quadruple versus triple regimens, most triple regimens did not contain a nitroimidazole.
Ten-day sequential therapy may be more effective at eradicating H pylori than a 7-day triple regimen.
Nitroimidazole-based triple regimens and amoxicillin-based triple regimens seem equally effective at eradicating H pylori. High-dose clarithromycin within an amoxicillin-based triple regimen seems more effective at eradicating H pylori than low-dose clarithromycin. However, the dose of clarithromycin within a nitroimidazole-based triple regimen does not seem to have an effect on eradication rates.
Triple regimens using different proton pump inhibitors seem equally effective at eradicating H pylori. Pre-treatment with a proton pump inhibitor before triple regimen does not seem to increase H pylori eradication rates compared with no pre-treatment. Two-week triple proton pump inhibitor regimens may be more effective than 1-week regimens for eradicating H pylori.
Lower eradication rates are achieved in people infected with strains of H pylori that are resistant to antibiotics included in the eradication regimen than are achieved in people infected with sensitive strains of H pylori.
Antibiotics can cause adverse effects such as nausea and diarrhoea. Bismuth may turn the stools black.
PMCID: PMC2907775  PMID: 21718575
5.  Low dose docosahexaenoic acid protects normal colonic epithelial cells from araC toxicity 
BMC Pharmacology  2005;5:7.
The nucleoside analogue arabinosylcytosine (araC) has been used for many years in the treatment of acute leukemia. Evidence in the literature suggests that araC may inhibit the growth of human colon carcinoma cell lines as well. Because araC action interferes with normal nucleoside metabolism, it is highly toxic to a number of normal cell types including bone marrow and intestinal mucosa cells. Here we investigate whether the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) could selectively target araC toxicity toward colonic tumor cells while protecting the normal cells in vitro.
Cultures of normal rat colonic epithelial cells (4D/WT) and those transformed by v-src (D/v-src) were supplemented with graded concentrations of DHA or arachidonic acid (AA) alone or in combination with araC. AraC was only 1.6 fold more toxic to D/v-src than 4D/WT in cultures without added fatty acids. Supplementing with as little as 3 μM of either AA or DHA increased araC toxicity by more than 30-fold in the tumorigenic cells. The toxic effect of araC on the normal cells was also increased by the fatty acid supplementation. IC50 values were decreased 1.7 fold by DHA in the 4D/WT cells but a more than 7-fold decrease was observed during AA supplementation. As a result, the therapeutic index of araC (IC50 normal/IC50 tumor) was more than 3-fold higher in the DHA than the AA supplemented cells. The expression of protein kinase C isoform epsilon was decreased in AA alone supplemented D/v-src cultures but in combination with araC decreased only in DHA supplemented 4D/WT cells.
Low dose DHA supplementation may enhance araC chemotherapy in colon cancer while protecting normal tissues, possibly through control of PKC signalling pathways.
PMCID: PMC1079882  PMID: 15788091
6.  Docosahexaenoic acid attenuates the early inflammatory response following spinal cord injury in mice: in-vivo and in-vitro studies 
Two families of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), omega-3 (ω-3) and omega-6 (ω-6), are required for physiological functions. The long chain ω-3 PUFAs, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have significant biological effects. In particular, DHA is a major component of cell membranes in the brain. It is also involved in neurotransmission. Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a highly devastating pathology that can lead to catastrophic dysfunction, with a significant reduction in the quality of life. Previous studies have shown that EPA and DHA can exert neuroprotective effects in SCI in mice and rats. The aim of this study was to analyze the mechanism of action of ω-3 PUFAs, such as DHA, in a mouse model of SCI, with a focus on the early pathophysiological processes.
In this study, SCI was induced in mice by the application of an aneurysm clip onto the dura mater via a four-level T5 to T8 laminectomy. Thirty minutes after compression, animals received a tail vein injection of DHA at a dose of 250 nmol/kg. All animals were killed at 24 h after SCI, to evaluate various parameters implicated in the spread of the injury.
Our results in this in-vivo study clearly demonstrate that DHA treatment reduces key factors associated with spinal cord trauma. Treatment with DHA significantly reduced: (1) the degree of spinal cord inflammation and tissue injury, (2) pro-inflammatory cytokine expression (TNF-α), (3) nitrotyrosine formation, (4) glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) expression, and (5) apoptosis (Fas-L, Bax, and Bcl-2 expression). Moreover, DHA significantly improved the recovery of limb function.
Furthermore, in this study we evaluated the effect of oxidative stress on dorsal root ganglion (DRG) cells using a well-characterized in-vitro model. Treatment with DHA ameliorated the effects of oxidative stress on neurite length and branching.
Our results, in vivo and in vitro, clearly demonstrate that DHA treatment reduces the development of inflammation and tissue injury associated with spinal cord trauma.
PMCID: PMC3895696  PMID: 24405628
DHA; Inflammation; Omega-3; Oxidative stress; Spinal cord injury
7.  Inhibitory effects of docosahexaenoic acid on colon carcinoma 26 metastasis to the lung. 
British Journal of Cancer  1997;75(5):650-655.
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.
PMCID: PMC2063338  PMID: 9043019
8.  Systems Modeling of the Role of Interleukin-21 in the Maintenance of Effector CD4+ T Cell Responses during Chronic Helicobacter pylori Infection 
mBio  2014;5(4):e01243-14.
The development of gastritis during Helicobacter pylori infection is dependent on an activated adaptive immune response orchestrated by T helper (Th) cells. However, the relative contributions of the Th1 and Th17 subsets to gastritis and control of infection are still under investigation. To investigate the role of interleukin-21 (IL-21) in the gastric mucosa during H. pylori infection, we combined mathematical modeling of CD4+ T cell differentiation with in vivo mechanistic studies. We infected IL-21-deficient and wild-type mice with H. pylori strain SS1 and assessed colonization, gastric inflammation, cellular infiltration, and cytokine profiles. Chronically H. pylori-infected IL-21-deficient mice had higher H. pylori colonization, significantly less gastritis, and reduced expression of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines compared to these parameters in infected wild-type littermates. These in vivo data were used to calibrate an H. pylori infection-dependent, CD4+ T cell-specific computational model, which then described the mechanism by which IL-21 activates the production of interferon gamma (IFN-γ) and IL-17 during chronic H. pylori infection. The model predicted activated expression of T-bet and RORγt and the phosphorylation of STAT3 and STAT1 and suggested a potential role of IL-21 in the modulation of IL-10. Driven by our modeling-derived predictions, we found reduced levels of CD4+ splenocyte-specific tbx21 and rorc expression, reduced phosphorylation of STAT1 and STAT3, and an increase in CD4+ T cell-specific IL-10 expression in H. pylori-infected IL-21-deficient mice. Our results indicate that IL-21 regulates Th1 and Th17 effector responses during chronic H. pylori infection in a STAT1- and STAT3-dependent manner, therefore playing a major role controlling H. pylori infection and gastritis.
Helicobacter pylori is the dominant member of the gastric microbiota in more than 50% of the world’s population. H. pylori colonization has been implicated in gastritis and gastric cancer, as infection with H. pylori is the single most common risk factor for gastric cancer. Current data suggest that, in addition to bacterial virulence factors, the magnitude and types of immune responses influence the outcome of colonization and chronic infection. This study uses a combined computational and experimental approach to investigate how IL-21, a proinflammatory T cell-derived cytokine, maintains the chronic proinflammatory T cell immune response driving chronic gastritis during H. pylori infection. This research will also provide insight into a myriad of other infectious and immune disorders in which IL-21 is increasingly recognized to play a central role. The use of IL-21-related therapies may provide treatment options for individuals chronically colonized with H. pylori as an alternative to aggressive antibiotics.
PMCID: PMC4120195  PMID: 25053783
9.  Docosahexaenoic acid prevents dendritic cell maturation and in vitro and in vivo expression of the IL-12 cytokine family 
Acute and chronic inflammation play essential roles in inflammatory/autoimmune conditions. Protective anti-inflammatory effects of the n-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) were reported in animal models of colitis, sepsis, and stroke. Since dendritic cells (DC) represent the essential cellular link between innate and adaptive immunity and have a prominent role in tolerance for self-antigens, we sought to investigate the impact of DHA on DC maturation and proinflammatory cytokine production.
Murine bone marrow-derived DC were treated with DHA and stimulated with various toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands. Flow cytometry was used to determine the levels of surface maturation markers and endocytic activity. Cytokine expression and secretion were measured by real-time RT-PCR and ELISA assays. PPARγ and NFκB activity in nuclear extracts were determined by binding to specific oligonucleotide sequences using ELISA-based assays. In vivo effects of DHA were assessed in splenic DC from LPS-inoculated mice maintained on a DHA-enriched diet.
DHA maintained the immature phenotype in bone marrow-derived DC by preventing the upregulation of MHCII and costimulatory molecules (CD40, CD80 and CD86) and maintaining high levels of endocytic activity. DHA inhibited the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including the IL-12 cytokine family (IL-12p70, IL-23, and IL-27), from DC stimulated with TLR2, 3, 4, and 9 ligands. DHA inhibition of IL-12 expression was mediated through activation of PPARγ and inhibition of NFκBp65 nuclear translocation. DHA exerted a similar inhibitory effect on IL-12 and IL-23 expression in vivo in LPS-inoculated mice maintained on a DHA-enriched diet.
Exposure of bone marrow-derived DC to DHA resulted in the maintenance of an immature phenotype and drastic reduction in proinflammatory cytokine release. DHA inhibited the expression and secretion of the IL-12 cytokine family members (IL-12p70, IL-23 and IL-27), which play essential roles in the differentiation of the proinflammatory Th1/Th17 effector cells. The effect of DHA on IL-12 expression was mediated through activation of PPARγ and inhibition of NFκB. Inhibition of IL-12 and IL-23 expression was also evident in splenic DC from mice fed a DHA-enriched diet, suggesting that dietary DHA acts as an anti-inflammatory agent in vivo.
PMCID: PMC2827414  PMID: 20122166
10.  Docosahexaenoic acid suppresses arachidonic acid-induced proliferation of LS-174T human colon carcinoma cells 
AIM: To investigate the impact of arachidonic acid (AA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and their combination on colon cancer cell growth.
METHODS: The LS-174T colon cancer cell line was used to study the role of the prostaglandin precursor AA and the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid DHA on cell growth. Cell viability was assessed in XTT assays. For analysis of cell cycle and cell death, flow cytometry and DAPI staining were applied. Expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), p21 and bcl-2 in cells incubated with AA or DHA was examined by real-time RT-PCR. Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) generation in the presence of AA and DHA was measured using a PGE2-ELISA.
RESULTS: AA increased cell growth, whereas DHA reduced viability of LS 174T cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, DHA down- regulated mRNA of bcl-2 and up-regulated p21. Interestingly, DHA was able to suppress AA-induced cell proliferation and significantly lowered AA-derived PGE2 formation. DHA also down-regulated COX-2 expression. In addition to the effect on PGE2 formation, DHA directly reduced PGE2-induced cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner.
CONCLUSION: These results suggest that DHA can inhibit the pro-proliferative effect of abundant AA or PGE2.
PMCID: PMC2655186  PMID: 19266600
Colorectal carcinoma; Colon cancer; Omega-3; Omega-6; Polyunsaturated fatty acids; Arachidonic acid; Docosahexaenoic acid; Prostaglandin E2; Cyclooxygenase-2; Apoptosis
11.  Short term effects of different omega-3 fatty acid formulation on lipid metabolism in mice fed high or low fat diet 
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.
PMCID: PMC3393618  PMID: 22676394
Omega-3 fatty acid; DHA; EPA; Lipid metabolism; Triglycerides; Ethyl ester; Phospholipids
12.  Characterization of synergistic anti-cancer effects of docosahexaenoic acid and curcumin on DMBA-induced mammary tumorigenesis in mice 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:418.
The major obstacles to the successful use of individual nutritional compounds as preventive or therapeutic agents are their efficacy and bioavailability. One approach to overcoming this problem is to use combinations of nutrients to induce synergistic effects. The objective of this research was to investigate the synergistic effects of two dietary components: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid present in cold-water fish, and curcumin (CCM), an herbal nutrient present in turmeric, in an in vivo model of DMBA-induced mammary tumorigenesis in mice.
We used the carcinogen DMBA to induce breast tumors in SENCAR mice on control, CCM, DHA, or DHA + CCM diets. Appearance and tumor progression were monitored daily. The tumors were harvested 15 days following their first appearance for morphological and immunohistological analysis. Western analysis was performed to determine expression of maspin and survivin in the tumor tissues. Characterization of tumor growth was analyzed using appropriate statistical methods. Otherwise all other results are reported as mean ± SD and analyzed with one-way ANOVA and Tukey’s post hoc procedure.
Analysis of gene microarray data indicates that combined treatment with DHA + CCM altered the profile of “PAM50” genes in the SK-BR-3 cell line from an ER-/Her-2+ to that resembling a “normal-like” phenotype. The in vivo studies demonstrated that DHA + CCM treatment reduced the incidence of breast tumors, delayed tumor initiation, and reduced progression of tumor growth. Dietary treatment had no effect on breast size development, but tumors from mice on a control diet (untreated) were less differentiated than tumors from mice fed CCM or DHA + CCM diets. The synergistic effects also led to increased expression of the pro-apoptotic protein, maspin, but reduced expression of the anti-apoptotic protein, survivin.
The SK-BR-3 cells and DMBA-induced tumors, both with an ER- and Her-2+ phenotype, were affected by the synergistic interaction of DHA and CCM. This suggests that the specific breast cancer phenotype is an important factor for predicting efficacy of these nutraceuticals. The combination of DHA and CCM is potentially a dietary supplemental treatment for some breast cancers, likely dependent upon the molecular phenotype of the cancer.
PMCID: PMC3848456  PMID: 24034496
In vivo studies; Cancer cell differentiation; Breast cancer; Tumor incidence; Tumor growth; Maspin; Survivin
13.  In Vitro and In Vivo Inhibition of Helicobacter pylori by Lactobacillus casei Strain Shirota 
We studied the potential inhibitory effect of Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota (from the fermented milk product Yakult [Yakult Ltd., Tokyo, Japan]) on Helicobacter pylori by using (i) in vitro inhibition assays with H. pylori SS1 (Sydney strain 1) and nine H. pylori clinical isolates and (ii) the in vivo H. pylori SS1 mouse model of infection over a period of 9 months. In vitro activity against H. pylori SS1 and all of the clinical isolates was observed in the presence of viable L. casei strain Shirota cells but not in the cell-free culture supernatant, although there was profound inhibition of urease activity. In vivo experiments were performed by oral administration of L. casei strain Shirota in the water supply over a period of 9 months to 6-week-old C57BL/6 mice previously infected with H. pylori SS1 (study group; n = 25). Appropriate control groups of H. pylori-infected but untreated animals (n = 25) and uninfected animals given L. casei strain Shirota (n = 25) also were included in the study. H. pylori colonization and development of gastritis were assessed at 1, 2, 3, 6, and 9 months postinfection. A significant reduction in the levels of H. pylori colonization was observed in the antrum and body mucosa in vivo in the lactobacillus-treated study group, as assessed by viable cultures, compared to the levels in the H. pylori-infected control group. This reduction was accompanied by a significant decline in the associated chronic and active gastric mucosal inflammation observed at each time point throughout the observation period. A trend toward a decrease in the anti-H. pylori immunoglobulin G response was measured in the serum of the animals treated with lactobacillus, although this decrease was not significant.
PMCID: PMC321236  PMID: 14711683
14.  A synergistic antiproliferation effect of curcumin and docosahexaenoic acid in SK-BR-3 breast cancer cells: unique signaling not explained by the effects of either compound alone 
BMC Cancer  2011;11:149.
Breast cancer is a collection of diseases in which molecular phenotypes can act as both indicators and mediators of therapeutic strategy. Therefore, candidate therapeutics must be assessed in the context of multiple cell lines with known molecular phenotypes. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and curcumin (CCM) are dietary compounds known to antagonize breast cancer cell proliferation. We report that these compounds in combination exert a variable antiproliferative effect across multiple breast cell lines, which is synergistic in SK-BR-3 cells and triggers cell signaling events not predicted by the activity of either compound alone.
Dose response curves for CCM and DHA were generated for five breast cell lines. Effects of the DHA+ CCM combination on cell proliferation were evaluated using varying concentrations, at a fixed ratio, of CCM and DHA based on their individual ED50. Detection of synergy was performed using nonlinear regression of a sigmoid dose response model and Combination Index approaches. Cell molecular network responses were investigated through whole genome microarray analysis of transcript level changes. Gene expression results were validated by RT-PCR, and western blot analysis was performed for potential signaling mediators. Cellular curcumin uptake, with and without DHA, was analyzed via flow cytometry and HPLC.
CCM+DHA had an antiproliferative effect in SK-BR-3, MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-361, MCF7 and MCF10AT cells. The effect was synergistic for SK-BR-3 (ER- PR- Her2+) relative to the two compounds individually. A whole genome microarray approach was used to investigate changes in gene expression for the synergistic effects of CCM+DHA in SK-BR-3 cells lines. CCM+DHA triggered transcript-level responses, in disease-relevant functional categories, that were largely non-overlapping with changes caused by CCM or DHA individually. Genes involved in cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, inhibition of metastasis, and cell adhesion were upregulated, whereas genes involved in cancer development and progression, metastasis, and cell cycle progression were downregulated. Cellular pools of PPARγ and phospho-p53 were increased by CCM+DHA relative to either compound alone. DHA enhanced cellular uptake of CCM in SK-BR-3 cells without significantly enhancing CCM uptake in other cell lines.
The combination of DHA and CCM is potentially a dietary supplemental treatment for some breast cancers, likely dependent upon molecular phenotype. DHA enhancement of cellular curcumin uptake is one potential mechanism for observed synergy in SK-BR-3 cells; however, transcriptomic data show that the antiproliferation synergy accompanies many signaling events unique to the combined presence of the two compounds.
PMCID: PMC3111403  PMID: 21510869
15.  Valproate-Induced Liver Injury: Modulation by the Omega-3 Fatty Acid DHA Proposes a Novel Anticonvulsant Regimen 
Drugs in R&d  2014;14:85-94.
The polyunsaturated, ω-3 fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), claims diverse cytoprotective potentials, although via largely undefined triggers. Thus, we currently first tested the ability of DHA to ameliorate valproate (VPA)-evoked hepatotoxicity, to modulate its anticonvulsant effects, then sought the cellular and molecular basis of such actions. Lastly, we also verified whether DHA may kinetically alter plasma levels/clearance rate of VPA.
Methods and Results
VPA (500 mg/kg orally for 14 days in rats) evoked prominent hepatotoxicity that appeared as a marked rise (2- to 4-fold) in serum hepatic enzymes (γ-glutamyl transferase [γ-GT], alanine aminotransferase [ALT], and alkaline phosphatase [ALP]), increased hepatic lipid peroxide (LPO) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) levels, as well as myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity (3- to 5-fold), lowering of serum albumin (40 %), and depletion of liver reduced-glutathione (GSH, 35 %). Likewise, histopathologic examination revealed hepatocellular degeneration, replacement by inflammatory cells, focal pericentral necrosis, and micro/macrovesicular steatosis. Concurrent treatment with DHA (250 mg/kg) markedly blunted the elevated levels of liver enzymes, lipid peroxides, TNFα, and MPO activity, while raising serum albumin and hepatic GSH levels. DHA also alleviated most of the cytologic insults linked to VPA. Besides, in a pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) mouse convulsion model, DHA (250 mg/kg) markedly increased the latency in convulsion evoked by VPA, beyond their individual responses. Lastly, pharmacokinetic studies revealed that joint DHA administration did not alter serum VPA concentrations.
DHA substantially ameliorated liver injury induced by VPA, while also markedly boosted its pharmacologic effects. DHA manipulated definite cellular machinery to curb liver oxidative stress and inflammation, without affecting VPA plasma levels. Collectively, these protective and synergy profiles for DHA propose a superior VPA-drug combination regimen.
PMCID: PMC4070460  PMID: 24733439
16.  Valproate-Induced Liver Injury: Modulation by the Omega-3 Fatty Acid DHA Proposes a Novel Anticonvulsant Regimen 
Drugs in R&D  2014;14(2):85-94.
The polyunsaturated, ω-3 fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), claims diverse cytoprotective potentials, although via largely undefined triggers. Thus, we currently first tested the ability of DHA to ameliorate valproate (VPA)-evoked hepatotoxicity, to modulate its anticonvulsant effects, then sought the cellular and molecular basis of such actions. Lastly, we also verified whether DHA may kinetically alter plasma levels/clearance rate of VPA.
Methods and Results
VPA (500 mg/kg orally for 14 days in rats) evoked prominent hepatotoxicity that appeared as a marked rise (2- to 4-fold) in serum hepatic enzymes (γ-glutamyl transferase [γ-GT], alanine aminotransferase [ALT], and alkaline phosphatase [ALP]), increased hepatic lipid peroxide (LPO) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) levels, as well as myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity (3- to 5-fold), lowering of serum albumin (40 %), and depletion of liver reduced-glutathione (GSH, 35 %). Likewise, histopathologic examination revealed hepatocellular degeneration, replacement by inflammatory cells, focal pericentral necrosis, and micro/macrovesicular steatosis. Concurrent treatment with DHA (250 mg/kg) markedly blunted the elevated levels of liver enzymes, lipid peroxides, TNFα, and MPO activity, while raising serum albumin and hepatic GSH levels. DHA also alleviated most of the cytologic insults linked to VPA. Besides, in a pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) mouse convulsion model, DHA (250 mg/kg) markedly increased the latency in convulsion evoked by VPA, beyond their individual responses. Lastly, pharmacokinetic studies revealed that joint DHA administration did not alter serum VPA concentrations.
DHA substantially ameliorated liver injury induced by VPA, while also markedly boosted its pharmacologic effects. DHA manipulated definite cellular machinery to curb liver oxidative stress and inflammation, without affecting VPA plasma levels. Collectively, these protective and synergy profiles for DHA propose a superior VPA-drug combination regimen.
PMCID: PMC4070460  PMID: 24733439
17.  Fatty acid composition of subcutaneous adipose tissue and gastric mucosa: is there a relation with gastric ulceration? 
Both in vitro and epidemiological studies indicate that dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids may play a protective role against peptic ulcer in humans. Adipose tissue fatty acid composition is thought to reflect dietary fatty acid intake. The aim of the present study is to investigate adipose and gastric mucosa fatty acid levels in relation to gastric ulceration status.
Fifty two adult outpatients undergoing upper gastrointestinal tract endoscopy participated in the study. Adipose tissue samples were taken from the abdomen and buttock during the endoscopy procedure and samples from gastric tissue were taken from a subsample of 30 subjects. The presence of Helicobacter pylori was determined using the CLO test. Capillary gas chromatography was used for the extraction of 36 and 42 adipose tissue and gastric mucosa lipids respectively.
The monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) C18:1n-12c, C16:1n-5, C16:4n-1 and the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) C16:3n-4, C20:3n-3, C20:4n-6, C21:5n-3 and C18:2n-9c,12t of the gastric mucosa were present in higher proportions in ulcer negative patients. These unsaturated fatty acids, however, each contributed less than 1% on average to total fatty acid content. In addition, higher average levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) C20:5n-3 and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) C22:6n-3 were detected in abdominal and buttock samples in CLO negative controls, compared to CLO positive controls. Adipose tissue and gastric mucosa n-6 and trans fatty acid levels were positively linearly correlated (r = 0.37 and 0.41 for n-6 and trans fatty acids respectively).
Certain minor MUFAs and PUFAs of the gastric mucosa appear to be present in higher proportions in ulcer negative patients. Overall, the findings provide only weak evidence of an association between the gastric mucosal fatty acids and the presence of gastric ulceration. The higher average levels of EPA and DHA in abdominal and buttock adipose tissue in CLO negative controls could be an indicator that dietary FAs inhibit Helicobacter pylori growth. Larger studies are necessary to provide evidence of a biologically relevant effect.
PMCID: PMC2636823  PMID: 19166613
18.  Expression of human β-defensin 2 (hBD-2) in Helicobacter pylori induced gastritis: antibacterial effect of hBD-2 against Helicobacter pylori 
Gut  2001;49(4):481-487.
BACKGROUND—Human β-defensin 2 (hBD-2) plays a role in the innate defence system at mucosal surfaces. Colonisation of Helicobacter pylori in the stomach is an important pathological factor in gastrointestinal illnesses, including gastritis, peptic ulcer, and gastric adenocarcinoma.
AIMS—To evaluate the antibacterial role of hBD-2 against H pylori infection in the gastric mucosa.
SUBJECTS—Biopsied gastric mucosa specimens from H pylori positive (n=6) and H pylori negative (n=6) individuals were used. H pylori was determined by the presence of urease activity and microscopic examination.
METHODS—The specimens were examined for hBD-2 expression by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), immunohistochemistry, and in situ hybridisation. The antibacterial effect of hBD-2 against H pylori was evaluated by the number of colony forming units of H pylori after incubation with 0, 10−9, 10−8, 10−7, 10−6, or 10−5 M of hBD-2 peptide.
RESULTS—All six H pylori positive specimens expressed a high level of hBD-2 mRNA while hBD-2 mRNA was not detected in the H pylori negative specimens by RT-PCR. Immunohistochemistry using anti-hBD-2 antiserum revealed that hBD-2 was expressed in the surface epithelium of H pylori infected specimens. In gastric specimens obtained after H pylori eradication, hBD-2 immunoreactivity had dramatically decreased. In situ hybridisation confirmed that hBD-2 transcripts were localised in the epithelium of H pylori infected gastric specimens. Incubation with hBD-2 reduced the growth rate of cultured H pylori in a dose dependent manner, and incubation with 10−5 M hBD-2 completely inhibited the proliferation of H pylori.
CONCLUSIONS—H pylori infection induces hBD-2 expression in the human gastric epithelium. hBD-2 inhibited the growth of H pylori in vitro, suggesting that hBD-2 plays an antibacterial role in H pylori induced gastritis.

Keywords: human β-defensin 2; Helicobacter pylori; gastritis; antimicrobial peptide
PMCID: PMC1728463  PMID: 11559643
19.  Antimicrobial Activity of Curcumin against Helicobacter pylori Isolates from India and during Infections in Mice▿  
Treatment failure is a major cause of concern for the Helicobacter pylori-related gastroduodenal diseases like gastritis, peptic ulcer, and gastric cancer. Curcumin, diferuloylmethane from turmeric, has recently been shown to arrest H. pylori growth. The antibacterial activity of curcumin against 65 clinical isolates of H. pylori in vitro and during protection against H. pylori infection in vivo was examined. The MIC of curcumin ranges from 5 μg/ml to 50 μg/ml, showing its effectiveness in inhibiting H. pylori growth in vitro irrespective of the genetic makeup of the strains. The nucleotide sequences of the aroE genes, encoding shikimate dehydrogenase, against which curcumin seems to act as a noncompetitive inhibitor, from H. pylori strains presenting differential curcumin MICs showed that curcumin-mediated growth inhibition of Indian H. pylori strains may not be always dependent on the shikimate pathway. The antimicrobial effect of curcumin in H. pylori-infected C57BL/6 mice and its efficacy in reducing the gastric damage due to infection were examined histologically. Curcumin showed immense therapeutic potential against H. pylori infection as it was highly effective in eradication of H. pylori from infected mice as well as in restoration of H. pylori-induced gastric damage. This study provides novel insights into the therapeutic effect of curcumin against H. pylori infection, suggesting its potential as an alternative therapy, and opens the way for further studies on identification of novel antimicrobial targets of curcumin.
PMCID: PMC2663130  PMID: 19204190
20.  The effect of UGTs polymorphism on the auto-induction phase II metabolism-mediated pharmacokinetics of dihydroartemisinin in healthy Chinese subjects after oral administration of a fixed combination of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine 
Malaria Journal  2014;13(1):478.
Dihydroartemisinin (DHA) is a component of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), which is widely recommended for treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria. DHA is also the main metabolite of artemether and artesunate, both of which are used in ACT. Due to auto-induction metabolism, declining plasma concentrations after the repeated dosing have been reported for artemisinin (Qing-hao-su) and artemether. This study was designed to evaluate the potential auto-induction metabolism of DHA in healthy Chinese adults after multiple oral doses of DHA. The polymorphic effects of UGT1A9 (I399C>T) and UGT2B7*2 (802C>T), the major enzymes involved in the metabolism of DHA, on the pharmacokinetic profiles of DHA and its metabolite was also studied.
Sixteen healthy Chinese subjects (four I399TT/802CC, four I399CC/802TT, four I399TT/802TT and four I399CT/802CT) received four recommended oral doses of Artekin, an ACT containing DHA (80 mg/dose) and piperaquine (PQ; 640 mg/dose), at 0, 6, 24 and 32 h. Plasma samples were analysed for DHA and its metabolite using a validated liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometric (LC-MS) method.
DHA and its glucuronidated metabolite DHA-Glu were detected in human plasma after oral administration of DHA-PQ. Compared with the first dose, the AUC0-t of the parent drug DHA decreased significantly (P<0.01) with increased oral clearance (CL/F) after each repeated dose of DHA-PQ, whereas its metabolite DHA-Glu did not change (P>0.05) in AUC0-t or Cmax. The phase II metabolic capability, calculated by the AUC0-t ratio of DHA-Glu to the parent drug DHA, increased 1.5-fold (90% CI, 1.3-1.7), 1.2-fold (90% CI, 1.1-1.3) and 1.7-fold (90% CI, 1.5-1.8) after the second, third and fourth dose, respectively. No polymorphic effect was found for UGT1A9 (I399C>T) and UGT2B7*2 (802C>T) on the pharmacokinetic profiles of DHA and its metabolite DHA-Glu.
The auto-induction phase II metabolism of DHA was present in healthy Chinese subjects after the recommended two-day oral doses of DHA-PQ (Artekin). The metabolic capability could recover after a 12-h dosing interval, which suggested that the alternative common three-day regimen (once daily) for DHA-PQ could probably lead to higher bioavailability of DHA. The polymorphism of UGT1A9 (I399C>T) and UGT2B7*2 (802C>T) may not be a concern during the treatment with DHA.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1475-2875-13-478) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4265406  PMID: 25476790
Dihydroartemisinin; Auto-induction metabolism; Healthy Chinese; UGTs; Polymorphism
21.  Chemopreventive and renal protective effects for docosahexaenoic acid (DHA): implications of CRP and lipid peroxides 
Cell Division  2009;4:6.
The fish oil-derived ω-3 fatty acids, like docosahexanoic (DHA), claim a plethora of health benefits. We currently evaluated the antitumor effects of DHA, alone or in combination with cisplatin (CP) in the EAC solid tumor mice model, and monitored concomitant changes in serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), lipid peroxidation (measured as malondialdehyde; MDA) and leukocytic count (LC). Further, we verified the capacity of DHA to ameliorate the lethal, CP-induced nephrotoxicity in rats and the molecular mechanisms involved therein.
EAC-bearing mice exhibited markedly elevated LC (2-fold), CRP (11-fold) and MDA levels (2.7-fold). DHA (125, 250 mg/kg) elicited significant, dose-dependent reductions in tumor size (38%, 79%; respectively), as well as in LC, CRP and MDA levels. These effects for CP were appreciably lower than those of DHA (250 mg/kg). Interestingly, DHA (125 mg/kg) markedly enhanced the chemopreventive effects of CP and boosted its ability to reduce serum CRP and MDA levels. Correlation studies revealed a high degree of positive association between tumor growth and each of CRP (r = 0.85) and leukocytosis (r = 0.89), thus attesting to a diagnostic/prognostic role for CRP.
On the other hand, a single CP dose (10 mg/kg) induced nephrotoxicity in rats that was evidenced by proteinuria, deterioration of glomerular filtration rate (GFR, -4-fold), a rise in serum creatinine/urea levels (2–5-fold) after 4 days, and globally-induced animal fatalities after 7 days. Kidney-homogenates from CP-treated rats displayed significantly elevated MDA- and TNF-α-, but reduced GSH-, levels. Rats treated with DHA (250 mg/kg, but not 125 mg/kg) survived the lethal effects of CP, and showed a significant recovery of GFR; while their homogenates had markedly-reduced MDA- and TNF-α-, but -increased GSH-levels. Significant association was detected between creatinine level and those of MDA (r = 0.81), TNF-α ) r = 0.92) and GSH (r = -0.82); implying causal relationships.
DHA elicited prominent chemopreventive effects on its own, and appreciably augmented those of CP as well. The extent of tumor progression in various mouse groups was highly reflected by CRP levels (thus implying a diagnostic/prognostic role for CRP). Further, this study is the first to reveal that DHA can obliterate the lethal CP-induced nephrotoxicity and renal tissue injury. At the molecular level, DHA appears to act by reducing leukocytosis, systemic inflammation, and oxidative stress.
PMCID: PMC2680397  PMID: 19341447
22.  Polyamines Impair Immunity to Helicobacter pylori by Inhibiting L-Arginine Uptake Required for Nitric Oxide Production 
Gastroenterology  2010;139(5):1686-1698.e6.
Helicobacter pylori-induced immune responses fail to eradicate the bacterium. Nitric oxide (NO) can kill H. pylori. However, translation of inducible NO synthase (iNOS) and NO generation by H. pylori-stimulated macrophages is inhibited by the polyamine spermine derived from ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), and is dependent on availability of the iNOS substrate L-arginine (L-Arg). We determined if spermine inhibits iNOS-mediated immunity by reducing L-Arg uptake into macrophages.
Levels of the inducible cationic amino acid transporter (CAT)2, ODC, and iNOS were measured in macrophages and H. pylori gastritis tissues. L-Arg uptake, iNOS expression, and NO levels were assessed in cells with siRNA knockdown of CAT2 or ODC, and in gastric macrophages. The ODC inhibitor, α-difluoromethylornithine (DFMO), was administered to H. pylori-infected mice for 4 months post-inoculation.
H. pylori induced CAT2 and uptake of L-Arg in RAW 264.7 or primary macrophages. Addition of spermine or knockdown of CAT2 inhibited L-Arg uptake, NO production, and iNOS protein levels, whereas knockdown of ODC had the opposite effect. CAT2 and ODC were increased in mouse and human H. pylori gastritis tissues and localized to macrophages. Gastric macrophages from H. pylori-infected mice exhibited increased ODC expression, and attenuated iNOS and NO levels upon ex vivo H. pylori stimulation versus cells from uninfected mice. DFMO treatment of infected mice restored L-Arg uptake, iNOS protein expression, and NO production in gastric macrophages, and significantly reduced both H. pylori colonization levels and gastritis severity.
Upregulation of ODC in gastric macrophages impairs host defense against H. pylori by suppressing iNOS-derived NO production.
PMCID: PMC2967614  PMID: 20600019
spermine; macrophages; gastritis
23.  Docosahexaenoic Acid Supplementation and Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer Disease 
Jama  2010;304(17):1903-1911.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is the most abundant long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid in the brain. Epidemiological studies suggest that consumption of DHA is associated with a reduced incidence of Alzheimer disease. Animal studies demonstrate that oral intake of DHA reduces Alzheimer-like brain pathology.
To determine if supplementation with DHA slows cognitive and functional decline in individuals with Alzheimer disease.
Design, Setting, and Patients
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of DHA supplementation in individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer disease (Mini-Mental State Examination scores, 14–26) was conducted between November 2007 and May 2009 at 51 US clinical research sites of the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study.
Participants were randomly assigned to algal DHA at a dose of 2 g/d or to identical placebo (60% were assigned to DHA and 40% were assigned to placebo). Duration of treatment was 18 months.
Main Outcome Measures
Change in the cognitive subscale of the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS-cog) and change in the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) sum of boxes. Rate of brain atrophy was also determined by volumetric magnetic resonance imaging in a subsample of participants (n = 102).
A total of 402 individuals were randomized and a total of 295 participants completed the trial while taking study medication (DHA: 171; placebo: 124). Supplementation with DHA had no beneficial effect on rate of change on ADAS-cog score, which increased by a mean of 7.98 points (95% confidence interval [CI], 6.51–9.45 points) for the DHA group during 18 months vs 8.27 points (95% CI, 6.72–9.82 points) for the placebo group (linear mixed-effects model: P = .41). The CDR sum of boxes score increased by 2.87 points (95% CI, 2.44–3.30 points) for the DHA group during 18 months compared with 2.93 points (95% CI, 2.44–3.42 points) for the placebo group (linear mixed-effects model: P = .68). In the subpopulation of participants (DHA: 53; placebo: 49), the rate of brain atrophy was not affected by treatment with DHA. Individuals in the DHA group had a mean decline in total brain volume of 24.7 cm3 (95% CI, 21.4–28.0 cm3) during 18 months and a 1.32% (95% CI, 1.14%–1.50%) volume decline per year compared with 24.0 cm3 (95% CI, 20–28 cm3) for the placebo group during 18 months and a 1.29% (95% CI, 1.07%–1.51%) volume decline per year (P = .79).
Supplementation with DHA compared with placebo did not slow the rate of cognitive and functional decline in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer disease.
PMCID: PMC3259852  PMID: 21045096
24.  Docosahexaenoic Acid Induces Apoptosis in MCF-7 Cells In Vitro and In Vivo via Reactive Oxygen Species Formation and Caspase 8 Activation 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(4):e10296.
The present study sought to further investigate the in vitro and in vivo anticancer effects of a representative omega-3 fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), with a focus on assessing the induction of oxidative stress and apoptosis as an important mechanism for its anticancer actions.
Methodology/Principal Findings
In vitro studies showed that DHA strongly reduces the viability and DNA synthesis of MCF-7 human breast cancer cells in culture, and also promotes cell death via apoptosis. Mechanistically, accumulation of reactive oxygen species and activation of caspase 8 contribute critically to the induction of apoptotic cell death. Co-presence of antioxidants or selective inhibition or knockdown of caspase 8 each effectively abrogates the cytotoxic effect of DHA. Using athymic nude mice as an in vivo model, we found that feeding animals the 5% fish oil-supplemented diet for 6 weeks significantly reduces the growth of MCF-7 human breast cancer cells in vivo through inhibition of cancer cell proliferation as well as promotion of cell death. Using 3-nitrotyrosine as a parameter, we confirmed that the fish oil-supplemented diet significantly increases oxidative stress in tumor cells in vivo. Analysis of fatty acid content in plasma and tissues showed that feeding animals a 5% fish oil diet increases the levels of DHA and eicosapentaenoic acid in both normal and tumorous mammary tissues by 329% and 300%, respectively.
DHA can strongly induce apoptosis in human MCF-7 breast cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo. The induction of apoptosis in these cells is selectively mediated via caspase 8 activation. These observations call for further studies to assess the effectiveness of fish oil as a dietary supplement in the prevention and treatment of human breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC2858652  PMID: 20421971
25.  Effect of fish oils containing different amounts of EPA, DHA, and antioxidants on plasma and brain fatty acids and brain nitric oxide synthase activity in rats 
Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences  2009;114(4):206-213.
The interest in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) has expanded significantly in the last few years, due to their many positive effects described. Consequently, the interest in fish oil supplementation has also increased, and many different types of fish oil supplements can be found on the market. Also, it is well known that these types of fatty acids are very easily oxidized, and that stability among supplements varies greatly.
Aims of the study
In this pilot study we investigated the effects of two different types of natural fish oils containing different amounts of the n-3 PUFAs eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and antioxidants on plasma and brain fatty acids, blood lipids, vitamin E, and in vivo lipid peroxidation, as well as brain nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity, an enzyme which has been shown to be important for memory and learning ability.
Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into four groups and fed regular rat chow pellets enriched with 5% (w/w) of butter (control group), a natural fish oil (17.4% EPA and 11.7% DHA, referred to as EPA-rich), and a natural fish oil rich in DHA (7.7% EPA and 28.0% DHA, referred to as DHA-rich). Both of the fish oils were stabilized by a commercial antioxidant protection system (Pufanox®) at production. The fourth group received the same DHA-rich oil, but without Pufanox® stabilization (referred to as unstable). As an index of stability of the oils, their peroxide values were repeatedly measured during 9 weeks. The dietary treatments continued until sacrifice, after 10 days.
Stability of the oils varied greatly. It took the two stabilized oils 9 weeks to reach the same peroxide value as the unstable oil reached after only a few days. Both the stabilized EPA- and DHA-rich diets lowered the triacylglycerols and total cholesterol compared to control (-45%, P < 0.05 and -54%, P < 0.001; -31%, P < 0.05 and -25%, P < 0.01) and so did the unstable oil, but less efficiently. Only the unstable oil increased in vivo lipid peroxidation significantly compared to control (+40%, P < 0.001). Most of the fatty acids in the plasma phospholipids were significantly affected by both the EPA- and DHA-rich diets compared to control, reflecting their specific fatty acid pattern. The unstable oil diet resulted in smaller changes, especially in n-3 PUFAs. In the brain phospholipids the changes were less pronounced, and only the diet enriched with the stabilized DHA-rich oil resulted in a significantly greater incorporation of DHA (+13%, P < 0.01), as well as total n-3 PUFAs (+13%, P < 0.01) compared to control. Only the stabilized DHA-rich oil increased the brain NOS activity (+33%, P < 0.01).
Both the EPA- and DHA-rich diets affected the blood lipids in a similarly positive manner, and they both had a large impact on plasma phospholipid fatty acids. It was only the unstable oil that increased in vivo lipid peroxidation. However, the intake of DHA was more important than that of EPA for brain phospholipid DHA enrichment and brain NOS activity, and the stability of the fish oil was also important for these effects.
PMCID: PMC2852776  PMID: 19961266
Antioxidants; brain; DHA; EPA; fish oil; lipid peroxidation; nitric oxide synthase

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