University and Washington State University have shown that
dihomogamma-linolenic acid, or DGLA, can be used to target and kill human
from Gamma-linolenic (GLA) acid. GLA is essential for the maintenance of brain
function, skeletal health, reproductive health and metabolism. It is also
essential to stimulate the growth of skin and hair.
(GLA) for conditions such as arthritis, nerve damage due to diabetes, eczema,
high blood pressure, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific
evidence to support most of these uses.
such as evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) oil (EPO), blackcurrant seed oil,
borage seed oil and hemp seed oil. GLA is also found in various amounts in
edible hemp seeds, oats , barley and spirulina.
consumption of linoleic acid being harmful to heart health due to potential
pro-inflammatory and thrombogenic properties.
arachidonic acid and subsequently synthesized to a variety of pro-inflammatory
eicosanoids, which may increase various medical conditions.
iron-dependent type of cell death that has been discovered in recent years and
has become a focal point for disease research as it is closely linked to many
University Associate Professor and corresponding research author, said this
discovery has many implications, including a step towards potential cancer
“If you could deliver DGLA precisely to a cancer cell, it could promote Ferroptosis
and lead to tumor cell death.
ferroptosis may also affect how we think about conditions such as kidney
disease and neurodegeneration where we want to prevent this type of cell death.
a polyunsaturated fatty acid found in small amounts in the human body, though
rarely in the human diet. Compared to other fatty acids, such as those found in
fish oil, DGLA is relatively understudied.
been researching dietary fats, including DGLA, using the nematode
Caenorhabditis elegans as an animal model. C. A microscopic worm. Elegans is
often used in molecular research because it is transparent and allows scientists
to easily study cell-level activity in an entire animal over a relatively short
lifetime. The results were found in the C. Elegan cells are also often
transferred to human cells.
nematodes to the diet of DGLA-charged bacteria killed all the germ cells in the
worms as well as the stem cells that make up the germ cells. There were many
signs of ferroptosis in the way the cells died.
University doctoral student and first author of the paper, said, Many of
the mechanisms we saw in nematodes were consistent with the characteristics of
ferroptosis in mammalian systems, including the presence of redox-active iron
and the inability to repair oxidized lipids, which are like molecular
with Dr. Scott Dixon of Stanford University, who has been studying ferroptosis
and its potential for cancer control for many years to see if the results would
be translated into human cells.
work , the researchers have shown that DGLA can induce ferroptosis in human
cancer cells. They also found an interaction with another class of fatty acids
called ether lipid, which had a protective effect against DGLA. When the ether
lipids were removed, the cells died faster in the presence of DGLA.
knowledge, the research has also shown that C. Elegans can be a useful animal
research model in the study of ferroptosis, a field that has had to rely mostly
on cell culture.
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