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Biochem Mol Biol Int. 1993 Jan;29(1):33-45.

Effects of various dietary fatty acids on enzyme activities of carbohydrate and glutamine metabolism and the metabolic response of lymphocytes and macrophages during Walker-256 ascites cell tumour growth in rats.

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Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Sao Paul University, Brazil.


It was previously shown that polyunsaturated and saturated fatty acid rich diets affected metabolic and functional changes in macrophages and a variety of immune tissues (thymus, mesenteric lymph nodes and spleen). This study reports metabolic and functional changes in peritoneal macrophages and lymphocytes of Walker-256 ascites cell tumour-bearing rats which were fed (a) normal balanced diet (3% fat), (b) diet enriched (15% fat) with polyunsaturated fatty acids or (c) diet fortified (15% fat) with saturated fatty acids. Neither of the fatty acid enriched diets affected macrophage migration following tumour cell implantation and ascitic cell growth. However both of these fortified fatty acid regimes enhanced the production of H2O2 by macrophages and lymphocytes. The maximum catalytic capacities of hexokinase, glutaminase, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase and glutathione peroxidase were measured in resident and tumour activated macrophages and lymphocytes obtained from rats fed the three fatty acid dietary regimes during seven days of tumour ascites cell growth. Tumour growth caused an increase in the activities of all of the above enzymes in macrophages irrespective of the fatty acid composition of the diet and notably decreased, independent of dietary fatty acid composition, the activities of the enzymes in lymphocytes. Only glutaminase activity in the lymphocytes of tumour bearing animals fed an unsaturated fatty acid-rich diet was not reduced, but was increased by 78%. Moreover macrophages from control rats fed an enriched polyunsaturated fatty acid diet had increased hexokinase activity (21%), decreased glutaminase (48%) and citrate synthase (decreased 41%) relative to the activities of these enzymes in macrophages of animals maintained on a balanced fatty acid diet. The feeding of both fatty acid rich diets did not modify the pattern of lymphocyte responses during the growth of tumour cells in these animals. None of the fatty acid diets modified the growth rate nor the yield of tumour cells in the peritoneal cavity.

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