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Lipids. 1995 Dec;30(12):1139-43.

Effect of tocotrienols on the growth of a human breast cancer cell line in culture.

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  • 1Palm Oil Research Institute of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Abstract

The tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) of palm oil consists of tocotrienols and some alpha-tocopherol (alpha-T). Tocotrienols are a form of vitamin E having an unsaturated side-chain, rather than the saturated side-chain of the more common tocopherols. Because palm oil has been shown not to promote chemically-induced mammary carcinogenesis, we tested effects of TRF and alpha-T on the proliferation, growth, and plating efficiency (PE) of the MDA-MB-435 estrogen-receptor-negative human breast cancer cells. TRF inhibited the proliferation of these cells with a concentration required to inhibit cell proliferation by 50% of 180 microgram/mL whereas alpha-T had no effect at concentrations up to 1000 microgram/mL as measured by incorporation of [3H]thymidine. The effects of TRF and alpha-T also were tested in longer-term growth experiments, using concentrations of 180 and 500 microgram/mL. We found that TRF inhibited the growth of these cells by 50%, whereas alpha-T did not. Their effect on the ability of these cells to form colonies also was studied, and it was found that TRF inhibited PE, whereas alpha T had no effect. These results suggest that the inhibition is due to the presence of tocotrienols in TRF rather than alpha T.

PMID:
8614304
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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