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Cancer Res. 1987 Dec 1;47(23):6171-5.

Enhancement of metastasis from a transplantable mouse mammary tumor by dietary linoleic acid.

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Department of Human Anatomy, University of California, School of Medicine, Davis 95616.


The influence of quantitative differences in dietary linoleic acid (18:2) on the metastasis as well as the development of line 4526 mouse mammary tumors was investigated. High fat diets (20%, w/w) that contained either 1, 2, 4, 8, or 12% 18:2 by weight, were prepared by using mixtures of coconut and safflower oil and fed to female BALB/c mice that were subsequently inoculated with 10(4) 4526 tumor cells s.c., either at the lateral abdominal wall (LAW) or in the mammary fat pad (MFP). Latency of LAW tumors was influenced by the level of dietary 18:2, whereas the latency of MFP tumors was not. When metastasis was assessed, mice with MFP tumors fed 1, 2, 4, or 8% 18:2 diets had 62-73% fewer lung surface tumor nodules than similar mice fed 12% 18:2. Mice in all dietary groups with LAW tumors had fewer metastatic lung nodules than mice with MFP tumors; mice with LAW tumors fed diets containing 1, 2, or 4% 18:2 had 52-69% fewer nodules than similar mice fed diets containing 8 or 12% 18:2. There were no significant differences in the rate of increase of body weight or the daily mean tumor volumes when compared with dietary 18:2 level. Fatty acid composition of the tumor, particularly the level of 18:2, was significantly altered by diet. This study demonstrates that while the level of dietary 18:2 does not enhance the growth rate of primary 4526 tumors and does or does not affect the latency depending on the primary site, it does significantly alter the metastasis. These results stress the importance of metastasis assessment in future studies involving dietary fat effects on tumorigenesis.

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