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Evidence For Potential Mechanisms for the Effect of CLA on Tumor Metabolism and Immune Function: Lessons From N-3 Fatty Acids
C. Field, U of Alberta, Edmonton, AB

Both CLA and the long chain polyunsaturated n-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduced tumour growth in vitro and in vivo. The mechanisms by which fatty acids may affect the growth of tumor cells may be via: 1) slowing or stopping proliferation (via altering regulation of the cell cycle), or 2) increasing cell death (via necrosis and/or apoptosis). Both these hypothesizes have been explored to explain the effects of n-3 fatty acids and CLA on tumors. Modulation of the hostís immune system could also mediate the anticancer effects of fatty acids in vivo. While it is widely recognized that n-3 fatty acids can alter immune and inflammatory responses, considerably less is known about CLA. For n-3 fatty acids, several candidate mechanisms have been proposed for their immune effects, including changes in: 1) membrane structure and composition, 2) membrane-mediated functions and signals, 3) gene expression and 4) immune development. This presentation will compare and contrast the evidence for the potential mechanisms for the anticancer effects of n-3 fatty acids and CLA. In doing so it is hoped lessons learned from the study of n-3 fatty acids can be used to identify future research directions for CLA mechanistic studies in cancer. (funding from NSERC, Alberta Agriculture Research Institute, Dairy Farmers of Canada and the Beef Information Centre)

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