Modulation of murine mammary tumor vasculature by dietary n-3 fatty acids in fish oil

Mithia Mukutmoni-Norris, Neil Hubbard, Kent L Erickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


We have previously shown that mice fed a high (n-3) fatty acid- containing diet with 20% (w/w) total fat had significantly slower mammary tumor growth, decreased numbers of metastatic pulmonary nodules, and decreased total metastatic load. In this study we sought to determine whether tumor vascularization was altered in mice fed diets varying in concentrations of (n-3) and (n-6) fatty acids. Several direct or indirect parameters of vascularization were tested. With 20% dietary fat, fish oil (FO) or a mixture of FO and safflower oil (FS) significantly reduced blood vascular area, mast cell number and macrophage infiltration in solid mammary tumors compared to tumors grown in mice fed safflower oil (SO). A decreasing trend was seen in the percent area of vessels positive for CD31 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the 20% FO and 20% FS compared to the 20% SO dietary groups. VEGF concentrations were twice as high in smaller tumors (100 mm3) from all dietary groups as compared to larger tumors (500 mm3). A two-fold increase in VEGF levels was found in the 20% SO dietary group compared to the 20% FO group in 100-mm3 but not larger tumors. We conclude that at 20% total fat, the n-3 fatty acids found in fish oil may inhibit primary mammary tumor growth through modulation of select determinants of vascularization. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-109
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 13 2000


  • Blood vasculature
  • Mammary tumor
  • n-3/n-6 Fatty acid
  • Vascular endothelial growth factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Molecular Biology
  • Oncology


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