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J Natl Cancer Inst. 2019 Jan 1;111(1):52-59. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djy125.

Role of Host GPR120 in Mediating Dietary Omega-3 Fatty Acid Inhibition of Prostate Cancer.

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Department of Urology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA.
Statistics Core, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA.
Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA.
Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA.
VA Medical Center Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Los Angeles, CA.



GPR120, a G protein-coupled receptor for long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (FAs), mediates the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 (ω-3) FAs. We investigated whether host or tumor GPR120 plays a role in the anti-prostate cancer effects of ω-3 FAs.


MycCap prostate cancer allografts were grown in immunocompetent wild-type (WT) and GPR120 knockout (KO) mice fed ω-3 (fish oil) or ω-6 (corn oil) diets. Immune cell infiltration was quantified by flow cytometry, and gene expression of immune cell markers in isolated tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) was quantified by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Archived tissue from a fish oil intervention trial was used to correlate gene expression of GPR120 with cell cycle progression (CCP) genes and Ki67 index (n = 11-15 per group). All statistical tests were two-sided.


In WT mice (n = 7 per group), dietary ω-3 FAs decreased MycCap allograft tumor growth (mean [SD] final tumor volume ω-6 = 491 [437] mm3 vs ω-3 = 127 [77] mm3, P = .04), whereas in global GPR120KO mice (n = 7 per group) ω-3 FAs had no anticancer effects. Dietary ω-3 FAs inhibited GPR120KO-MycCaP allografts grown in WT mice (n = 8 per group; mean [SD] final tumor volume ω-6 = 776 [767] mm3 vs ω-3 = 36 [34] mm3, P = .02). Omega-3 FA treatment decreased the number of M2-like TAMs in tumor tissue and gene expression of M2 markers in isolated TAMs compared with ω-6 controls in WT (n = 7 per group) but not in GPR120KO mice (n = 7 per group). In human tissue, higher expression of stromal GPR120 correlated with greater reduction in expression of CCP genes in men with prostate cancer on a high-ω-3 diet (r = -.57, P = .04).


Host GPR120 plays a central role in the anti-prostate cancer effects of dietary ω-3 FAs. Future studies are required to determine if the anticancer effects of ω-3 FAs are mediated through inhibition of M2-like macrophages and if host GPR120 status predicts anticancer effects of dietary ω-3 FAs in men with prostate cancer.

[Available on 2019-09-06]

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