Epidemiological studies suggest that high fish intake is associated with a decreased risk of colorectal cancer which has been linked to the high content of the n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) eicosapentaenoic acids (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in some fish. The aim of the study was to compare the modulation of gene expression in LT97 colon adenoma cells in response to EPA and DHA treatment. Therefore, we used custom-designed cDNA arrays containing probes for 306 genes related to stress response, apoptosis and carcinogenesis and hybridised them with cDNA from LT97 cells which were treated for 10 or 24 h with 50 μM EPA or DHA. There was a marked influence of n-3 PUFA on the expression of several gene types, such as detoxification, cell cycle control, signaling pathways, apoptosis and inflammation. DHA and EPA generally modulated different sets of genes, although a few common effects were noted. In our approach, we used preneoplastic adenoma cells which are a relevant model for target cells of chemoprevention. If verified with real time PCR, these results identify genes and targets for chemoprevention of colon cancer
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