Arachidonic acid (AA) is naturally found in human breast milk. AA, together with docosahexaenoic acid, is commonly added as a functional food ingredient to commercial infant formula worldwide, in accordance with the international standard of Codex Alimentarius. However, few studies have been performed that are concerned with the possible carcinogenic effects of AA supplementation during neonatal life. The effect of dietary AA supplementation in dams, during gestation and lactation, was investigated in N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU)-induced preneoplastic lesions in the exocrine pancreas of young Lewis rats. Dams were fed either an AA (2.0% AA) or a basal (<0.01% AA) diet. On postnatal day 0 (at birth), male and female pups received a single intraperitoneal injection of either 35 mg/kg MNU or vehicle. The morphology and proliferating activity of the exocrine pancreas were examined by proliferative cell nuclear antigen immunohistochemistry 7, 14, 21, 28 and/or 60 days post-MNU. Histopathologically, acinar cell hyperplasia (ACH) occurred in the MNU-treated groups 60 days after MNU injection, irrespecitive of whether the rats had been fed an AA diet. Morphometrically, the number and area of ACH per 1 mm2 in MNU-treated rats increased significantly in the AA diet-fed rats, compared with basal diet-fed rats. The number of proliferative cell nuclear antigen-positive acinar cells in both the normal and hyperplastic areas of MNU-treated rats increased significantly in the AA diet-fed rats. In conclusion, providing dams with an AA-rich diet during gestation and lactation promotes MNU-induced pancreatic ACH in young Lewis rats.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research