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Open Access Review

Multiple roles of dihomo-γ-linolenic acid against proliferation diseases

Xiaoping Wang1*, Huanping Lin1 and Yan Gu2

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratory of Molecular Pathology, Shaanxi University of Chinese Medicine, Xianyang 712046, Shaanxi, China

2 Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo 58102, ND, USA

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Lipids in Health and Disease 2012, 11:25  doi:10.1186/1476-511X-11-25

Published: 14 February 2012

Abstract

Considerable arguments remain regarding the diverse biological activities of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). One of the most interesting but controversial dietary approaches focused on the diverse function of dihomo-dietary γ-linolenic acid (DGLA) in anti-inflammation and anti-proliferation diseases, especially for cancers. This strategy is based on the ability of DGLA to interfere in cellular lipid metabolism and eicosanoid (cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase) biosynthesis. Subsequently, DGLA can be further converted by inflammatory cells to 15-(S)-hydroxy-8,11,13-eicosatrienoic acid and prostaglandin E1 (PGE1). This is noteworthy because these compounds possess both anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative properties. PGE1 could also induce growth inhibition and differentiation of cancer cells. Although the mechanism of DGLA has not yet been elucidated, it is significant to anticipate the antitumor potential benefits from DGLA.

Keywords:
Dihomo-γ-linolenic acid (DGLA); Prostaglandin E1 (PGE1); Proliferation; Differentiation; Cancer