A significant increase in cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2) gene expression has been shown to promote cylcooxygenase-dependent colon cancer development. Controversy associated with the role of COX2 inhibitors indicates that additional work is needed to elucidate the effects of arachidonic acid (AA) derived (cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase) eicosanoids in cancer initiation, progression and metastasis. We have recently developed a novel Fads1 knockout mouse model, which allows for the investigation of AA-dependent eicosanoid deficiency without the complication of essential fatty acid deficiency. Interestingly, the survival rate of Fads1 null mice is severely compromised after 2 months on a semi-purified AA-free diet, which precludes long-term chemoprevention studies. Therefore, in this study, dietary AA levels were titrated to determine the minimal level required for survival, while maintaining a distinct AA-deficient phenotype. Null mice supplemented with AA (0.1, 0.4, 0.6, 2.0%, w/w) in the diet exhibited a dose-dependent increase (P < 0.05) in AA, PGE2, 6-keto PGF1α, TXB2 and EdU-positive proliferative cells in the colon. In subsequent experiments, null mice supplemented with 0.6% AA diet were injected with a colon-specific carcinogen (azoxymethane) in order to assess cancer susceptibility. Null mice exhibited significantly (P < 0.05) reduced levels/multiplicity of aberrant crypt foci (ACF) as compared to wild type sibling littermate control mice. These data indicate that (i) basal/minimal dietary AA supplementation (0.6%) expands the utility of the Fads1 Null mouse model for long-term cancer prevention studies, and (ii) that AA content in the colonic epithelium modulates colon cancer risk.
- Received March 1, 2016.
- Revision received May 25, 2016.
- Accepted June 9, 2016.
- Copyright ©2016, American Association for Cancer Research.