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J Dairy Sci. 2012 May;95(5):2248-60. doi: 10.3168/jds.2011-4153.

Effect of highly lipolyzed goat cheese on HL-60 human leukemia cells: antiproliferative activity and induction of apoptotic DNA damage.

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Department of Bioscience, School of Agriculture, Tokai University, Kawayo, Minamiaso, Aso, Kumamoto, Japan.


To establish cheese as a dairy product with health benefits, we embarked on examining the multifunctional role of cheeses, especially in the field of cancer prevention. The current study was designed to investigate whether different types of commercial goat cheeses may possess antiproliferative activity, using an HL-60 human promyelocytic leukemia cell line as a cancer cell model. Among 11 cheese extracts tested at 500μg/mL, 6 (Crottin de Chavignol, Pouligny Saint-Pierre, Chabichou du Poitou, Valencay, Kavli, and Sainte-Maure de Touraine) resulted in a significant decrease of cell viability, which is consistent with a decrease in viable cell number. Compared with the half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC(50)) value of individual cheeses in cellular proliferation assays, the Pouligny Saint-Pierre extract showed strong inhibition. Incubation of cells in the presence of Pouligny Saint-Pierre extract resulted in induction of cellular morphological changes and apoptotic DNA fragmentation as well as expression of the active form of caspase-3 protein. Based on the quantification of the ratio of free fatty acids to triglycerides in different cheese samples, a significant correlation was detected between lipolytic ripeness and IC(50) values for antiproliferative capacity tested in HL-60 cells. Collectively, these results support a potential role of highly lipolyzed goat cheeses in the prevention of leukemic cell proliferation.

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