PUFA's: metabolic profiling in relation to human cellular responses
09 / 2002 - 12 / 2007
This project is performed within the Centre of Human Genomics. It is known that n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids from fish have an inhibiting effect on the development of colon cancer. However the availability of fish is restricted and fish may contain contaminants as heavy metals and polyhalogenated aromatic hydrocarbons. Purpose of this dissertation project is to study the possibility of using heterotrophic marine microalgae (extracts) instead of fish as a dietary source of n-3 fatty acids. Certain marine microalgae contain high amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids albeit usually present in only one form of fatty acid in contrast to fish oil, which contains a mixture of several polyunsaturated fatty acids. Different microalgae species are cultivated and used for this purpose, such as C. cohnii, Schizochytrium sp and Thraustochytrium. Extracts from these species, commercial algae preparations, fish oil and pure DHA and EPA will be compared for their anticarcinogenic effects. Previous studies have shown that the possible protective effects of n-3 fatty acids might be due to the anti-proliferative effects caused by a pro-oxidative mechanism (Dommels, dissertation,2003). Therefore in this project algae oil, fish oil, DHA and EPA will be compared for their effects on cell proliferation and apoptosis of a human colon carcinoma cell line (Caco-2). In addition the pro- oxidative potential will be studied. Algae extracts will be tested on the presence of antioxidants using the Q-toff techniques and the fatty acid spectrum using GC. Furthermore the anticarcinogenic potential will be tested by functional genomics in vitro or in vivo.