AbstractThe effect of dietary fats on essential fatty acid metabolism in rats subjected to chemically induced hepatocarcinogenesis was studied. Sixty male rats were fed a diet supplemented with one of the following three oil compositions: 10% hydrogenated coconut oil (HCO); 5% hydrogenated coconut oil and 5% gamma-linolenic acid (18:3n-6)-rich evening primrose oil (EPO); or 5% hydrogenated coconut oil and 5% marine oil (FO). Half of the animals in each dietary regimen were subjected to hepatocarcinogenesis induction using diethylnitrosamine and 2-acetylaminofluorene (2-AAF) followed by partial hepatectomy, whereas the other half underwent hepatectomy without receiving diethylnitrosamine and 2-acetylaminofluorene. Liver phospholipid composition was analyzed. In comparison to the HCO group, the EPO group showed raised levels of arachidonic acid (20:4n-6) and suppressed n-3 fatty acids. The FO group, on the other hand, showed suppressed levels of n-6 and increased n-3 fatty acids. Hepatocarcinogenesis suppressed the level of 20:4n-6 and this effect was greater in the FO rats. The levels of dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (20:3n-6) were increased by the hepatocarcinogenic treatment, and this effect was further accentuated in the EPO rats. These results suggest that hepatocarcinogenesis may suppress the activity of delta-5-desaturase, which may be one of the reasons why tumor cell membranes have low levels of long chain fatty acids, especially 20:4n-6 cells, and have an impaired capacity to undergo lipid peroxidation.
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