Polyunsaturated fatty acid requirements of murine colon adenocarcinomas

  • Helen J. Hussey

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) requirements of three transplantable murine colon adenocarcinomas, the MAC13, MAC16 and MAC26, were evaluated in vitro and in vivo. When serum concentrations became growth limiting in vitro, proliferation of the MAC13 and MAC26 cell lines was stimulated by linoleic acid (LA) at 18μM and arachidonic acid (AA) at 16 or 33μM respectively. This was not demonstrated by the MAC16 cell line. MAC13 and MAC26 cells were found to be biochemically fatty acid deficient as measured by the formation of Mead acid (20:3 n-9), but the MAC16 cells were not. In vivo the growth of the MAC26 tumour was stimulated by daily oral administration of LA between 0.4-2.0g/kg. There was a threshold value of 0.4g/kg for the stimulation of MAC26 tumour growth, above which there was no further increase in tumour growth, and below which no increase in tumour growth was observed. This increased tumour growth was due to the stimulation of tumour cell proliferation in all areas of the tumour, with no effect on the cell loss factor.
The growth of the MAC13, MAC16, and MAC26 cell lines in vitro were more effectively inhibited by lipoxygenase (LO) inhibitors than the cyclooxygenase inhibitor indomethacin. The specific 5-LO inhibitor Zileuton and the leukotriene D4 antagonist L-660,711 were less effective inhibitors of MAC cell growth in vitro than the less specific LO inhibitors BWA4C, BWB70C and CV6504. Studies of the hyroxyeicosatetraenoic acids (HETEs) produced from exogenous AA in these cells, suggested that a balance of eicosanoids produced from 5-LO, 12-LO and 15-LO pathways was required for cell proliferation.
In vivo BWA4C, BWB70C and CV6504 demonstrated antitumour action against the MAC26 tumour between 20-50mg/kg/day. CV6504 also inhibited the growth of the MAC 13 tumour in vivo with an optimal effect between 5-10mg/kg/day. The antitumour action against the MAC16 tumour was also accompanied by a reduction in the tumour-induced host body weight loss at 10-25mg/kg/day. The antitumour action of CV6504 in all three tumour models was partially reversed by daily oral administration of 1.0g/kg LA. Studies of the AA metabolism in tumour homogenates suggested that this profound antitumour action, against what are generally chemoresistant tumours, was due to inhibition of eicosanoid production through LO pathways. As a result of these studies, CV6504 has been proposed for stage I./II. clinical trials against pancreatic cancer by the Cancer Research Campaign. This will be the first LO inhibitor entering the clinic as a therapeutic agent.
Date of AwardFeb 1996
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorMichael J Tisdale (Supervisor)


  • polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • linoleic acid
  • arachidonic acid
  • hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acids
  • lipoxygenase inhibitors
  • murine colon adenocarcinomas

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