Combined Effects of N-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and 1alpha, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D on Breast Cancer Cell Growth

Broadfield, Lindsay
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University of Guelph

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and vitamin D both have anti-cancer effects through common and unique pathways. The hypothesis of this thesis is that the combination of n-3 PUFA with 1,25(OH)2D3 will inhibit breast cancer cell growth in an additive or synergistic manner. A 3X3 factorial design was used to test the combinations of five PUFA treatments (α-linoleic acid (ALA, 18:3n3), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5n3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n3), γ-linolenic acid (GLA, 18:3n6) and arachidonic acid (AA, 20:4n6)) with 1,25(OH)2D3 on MCF-7, MDA-MB-231, and MCF-10A cell growth, and determine any potential synergism in combination treatments. MCF-7 and MCF-10A cells responded to PUFA and 1,25(OH)2D3 treatments, but combinations provided no potential synergism. MDA-MB-231 growth was not affected by 1,25(OH)2D3, while combinations treatments involving ALA, EPA, GLA, and AA caused potentially synergistic growth inhibition. This thesis presents the novel observation that PUFA are sensitizing MDA-MB-231 cells to 1,25(OH)2D3 treatment.

breast cancer, n-3 PUFA, vitamin D