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Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2013 Aug;45(8):1620-8. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2013.05.009. Epub 2013 May 16.

Role of arachidonic acid metabolites on the control of non-differentiated intestinal epithelial cell growth.

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Departament de Fisiologia, Facultat de Farmàcia, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.


Increasingly evidence indicates that enzymes, receptors and metabolites of the arachidonic acid (AA) cascade play a role in intestinal epithelial cell proliferation and colorectal tumorigenesis. However, the information available does not provide a complete picture and contains a number of discrepancies. For this reason it might be appropriate a thorough study into the impacts of the AA cascade on intestinal epithelial cell growth. Our data show that non-differentiated Caco-2 cells cultured with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS) synthesize appreciable amounts of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), leukotriene B4 (LTB4) and 5-, 12 and 15-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (HETE) but not LTD4, 20-HETE and epoxyeicosatrienoic acids. We also found that inhibitors of PGE2, LTB4 and 5-, 12-, 15-HETE synthesis as well as receptor antagonists of PGE2 and LTB4 blocked Caco-2 cell growth and DNA synthesis induced by 10% FBS without cytotoxic or apoptotic activity. Interestingly, PGE2, LTB4 and 5-, 12- and 15-HETE at concentrations reached in 10% FBS Caco-2 cultures (1-10nM) were able to induce Caco-2 cell growth and DNA synthesis. This was due to the interaction of PGE2 with EP1 and EP4 receptors and LTB4 and HETEs with BLT1 and BLT2 receptors. Moreover, we provide evidence that PGE2 stimulates several cell signaling pathways such as ERK, P38α, CREB and GSKβ/β-catenin involved in the regulation of Caco-2 growth. Finally, we provide evidence that the mitogenic effects of LTB4 and HETEs can be dependent, at least in part, on PGE2 synthesis.


AA; COX; CYP450; Cell signaling; Colorectal cancer; DHETE; EET; HETE; Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid; LOX; LT; Leukotriene; NDGA; PG; PLA(2); Prostaglandin; arachidonic acid; cyclooxygenase; cytochrome P-450; dihydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid; epoxyeicosatrienoic acid; hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid; leukotriene; lipoxygenase; nordihydroguaiaretic acid; phospholipase A(2); prostaglandin

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