The effects of Omega-3 fatty acids on growth regulation of epithelial ovarian cancer cell lines

Arun Sharma, Jennifer Belna, Jennifer Logan, Joseph Espat, Jean A. Hurteau*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Objective. Omega-3 fatty acids (OM-3FAs) have been shown to possess anti-carcinogenic properties. We investigated the effect of OM-3FAs on epithelial ovarian cancer cell lines to determine if a growth suppressive effect existed and to gain a better insight on the potential molecular mechanisms that may be involved. Methods. Three epithelial ovarian cancer cell lines (SKOV-3 [p53 null], TOV-21G [wt p53] and OVCAR-3 [mutant p53]) and one immortalized ovarian surface epithelial cell line (IOSE-29 [wt p53]) were treated with OM-3FAs and evaluated for cellular proliferation (WST-1 assay), apoptosis (Annexin V-FITC/PI method) and VEGF expression (VEGF ELISA assay). Results. A statistically significant inhibitory effect under the influence of OM-3FAs was detected in all four cell lines. Apoptosis and VEGF down-regulation were either limited or not detected in the p53 null and mutant cell lines, SKOV-3 and OVCAR-3 respectively. Apoptosis and/or VEGF down-regulation was strongly evident in the wt p53 cell lines TOV-21G and IOSE-29. Conclusion. These data suggest that, under the influence of OM-3FAs, there are definitive growth suppressive mechanisms at work and that the biologic effects of OM-3FAs may in part be mediated by the p53 status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-64
Number of pages7
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2005


  • Apoptosis
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Ovarian cancer
  • VEGF
  • p53

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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