Effects of Eicosanoid Precursors on TBA Reactive Material in Normal and Malignant Cells

  • M. E. Bégin
  • G. Ells
  • D. F. Horrobin


The amounts of thiobarbituric acid reactive material (TBARM) produced by human breast tumor (ZR-75-1) and normal simian kidney cells (CV-1) enriched with ethyl gammalinolenate (GLA), ethyl arachidonate (AA), and methyl eicosapentaenoate (EPA) were compared. TBARM increased in both tumor and normal cell cultures upon supplementation. TBARM measured in the culture medium and in the cells varied with the cell type and the fatty acid, as follows: (a) The tumor cells produced more TBARM than did normal cells. (b) In the tumor cells, GLA and AA produced more TBARM than did EPA. (c) In the normal cells, EPA produced more TBARM than did GLA and AA. (d) TBARM measured in the culture medium incubated without cells was proportional to the number of double bonds of the fatty acid under test. The addition of GLA, AA, and EPA killed the tumor cells but not the normal cells. The effectiveness of a given fatty acid ester in killing tumor cells correlated with the TBARM content in the cells. The addition of vitamin E acetate to the tumor cell cultures challenged with EPA reduced both cell killing and amount of TBARM.


Lipid Peroxidation Essential Fatty Acid Human Breast Tumor Tumor Cell Culture Selective Killing 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. E. Bégin
    • 1
  • G. Ells
    • 1
  • D. F. Horrobin
    • 1
  1. 1.Efamol Research InstituteKentvilleCanada

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