, Volume 31, Issue 12, pp 1283–1288 | Cite as

The fatty acid composition of human gliomas differs from that found in nonmalignant brain tissue

  • Douglas D. Martin
  • Michael E. C. Robbins
  • Arthur A. Spector
  • B.-Chen Wen
  • David H. Hussey


To compare the fatty acid composition of tumor tissue from glioma patients with that of normal brain tissue, tissue samples were obtained from 13 glioma patients and from 3 nonmalignant patients. Following lipid extraction, total fatty acid composition was measured using gas-liquid chromatography. Samples were further separated into phospholipids and neutral lipids. Representative samples were then separated into phospholipid classes by thin-layer chromatography and the fatty acid composition assayed. Levels of the polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), were significantly reduced (P=0.029) in the glioma samples compared with normal brain samples; mean values were 4.8±2.9% and 9.2±1.0%, respectively. This reduction in glioma DHA content was also observed in terms of phospholipids (4.6±2.1% vs. 9.6±0.8%,P=0.002). The phosphatidylserine and phosphatidylethanolamine phospholipid classes were reduced in the glioma samples. Differences were also noted in the n-6 PUFA content between glioma and normal brain samples. The glioma content of the n-6 PUFA linoleic acid was significantly greater (P<0.05) than that observed in the control samples in terms of total lipids. Thus, the fatty acid composition of human gliomas differs from that found in nonmalignant brain tissue.


Fatty Acid Composition Human Glioma Normal Brain Tissue None None Phospholipid Class 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



α-linolenic acid


central nervous system


docosahexaenoic acid


glioblastoma multiforme


gas-liquid chromatography


linoleic acid










polyunsaturated fatty acid


unsaturation index


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Copyright information

© AOCS Press 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas D. Martin
    • 1
  • Michael E. C. Robbins
    • 1
  • Arthur A. Spector
    • 2
  • B.-Chen Wen
    • 1
  • David H. Hussey
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Radiation Oncology, Department of RadiologyThe University of Iowa Hospitals and ClinicsIowa City
  2. 2.Division of Radiation Oncology, Department of BiochemistryThe University of Iowa Hospitals and ClinicsIowa City

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