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Print version ISSN 0121-0793


VILLA-VASQUEZ, Suly Saray; MARQUEZ-FERNANDEZ, María Elena  and  CAMARGO-GUERRERO, Mauricio. Cytotoxic and Genotoxic Activity of Omega Fatty Acids in Prostate Cancer Cells PC-3. Iatreia [online]. 2018, vol.31, n.4, pp.351-361. ISSN 0121-0793.


Prostate cancer is the main cause of cancer related deaths in men worldwide. Previous studies have suggested that omega-3 fatty acids reduce cell viability in tumour cells, whereas omega-6 fatty acids increase clonogenicity. Nevertheless, other reports have shown controversial results.


Evaluate cytotoxicity, genotoxicity and clonogenicity in a prostate cancer derived human cell line (PC-3), treated with fatty acids omega-3: α-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); omega-6: linoleic acid (LA) and arachidonic acid (AA); omega-9: oleic acid (OA).


The tests included (a) cytotoxicity assays by MTT and Trypan Blue; (b) genotoxicity evaluation by the sister-chromatid exchanges technique (SCE) and the DNA-comet assay; and (c) in vitro clonogenic assay of six fatty acids in prostate cancer cell (PC-3) at different concentrations (25 µM, 50 µM, 100 µM and 150 µM).


The cell viability by MTT data showed ≤ IC50 values for the omega-3 EPA and DHA and omega-6 AA fatty acids at the two major concentrations (100 µM and 150 µM).

Moreover, the same fatty acids viability values dropped to 0 % with Trypan Blue test. EPA and DHA showed genotoxic effect and a clonogenic cell decrease (p<0,01). The latter test also revealed a viability diminishment for LA and AA, suggesting different mechanisms of action of fatty acids on cell membrane.


The in vitro evaluation revealed that EPA, DHA and AA reduce the clonogenicity and cell viability of prostate tumour cells and cause genotoxicity in prostate tumour derived PC-3 cells.

Keywords : Cell Survival; Fatty Acids, Omega-3; Genotoxicity Test; Prostatic Neoplasms.

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