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Anticancer Res. 2000 Sep- Oct;20(5B):3591-601.

Milk fat conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) inhibits growth of human mammary MCF-7 cancer cells.

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Teagasc, Dairy Products Research Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland.


The relationship between growth and the antioxidant enzyme defence system in human MCF-7 (breast) cancer cells treated with bovine milk fat enriched with conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) was studied. Milk enriched in CLA was obtained from cows on pasture supplemented with full fat rapeseeds and full fat soyabeans (1). Cell number decreased up to 90% (p < 0.05) and lipid peroxidation increased 15-fold (p < 0.05) following incubation of MCF-7 cells for 8 days with increasing levels of milk fat yielding CLA concentrations between 16.9 and 22.6 ppm. Growth suppression and prooxidant effects of milk fat CLA were independent of the variable composition of the milk fat samples, suggesting that CLA was the active ingredient in milk fat responsible for the cytotoxic effect. Mixtures containing isomers of CLA (c9, t11-, t10, c12-, c11, t13- and minor amounts of other isomers) and linoleic acid (LA) at similar concentrations to the milk fat samples were as effective at inhibiting growth and stimulating peroxidation of MCF-7 cells as the milk fatty acids. Incubation of the cells with the c9, t11 CLA isomer (20 ppm) or the mixture of CLA isomers (20 ppm) for 8 days resulted in a 60% decrease (p < 0.05) in viability compared with untreated controls and was significantly (p < 0.05) more effective than incubation with the t10, c12 CLA isomer (20 ppm), which caused only a 15% decrease in cell numbers under similar conditions. A 25% increase (p < 0.05) in cell proliferation occurred when LA (20 ppm) alone was incubated with MCF-7 cells for 8 days. 14C-CLA was preferentially incorporated into the phospholipid fraction of the MCF-7 cell lipids in a dose-dependent manner and CLA accumulated in cell membranes more efficiently when the cells were incubated in the presence of milk fat than the c9, t11 synthetic CLA isomer. Superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities were induced in MCF-7 cells exposed to milk fat (containing 16.9-22.6 ppm CLA) over 8 days. The data indicate that milk fat triglyceride-bound CLA, consisting primarily of the c9, t11 isomer, was cytotoxic towards MCF-7 cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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