Dim light during darkness stimulates tumor progression by enhancing tumor fatty acid uptake and metabolism

Cancer Lett. 1999 Oct 1;144(2):131-6. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3835(99)00207-4.


Tumor linoleic acid uptake and metabolism, and growth are suppressed by melatonin, the synthesis of which is inhibited by light. Linoleic acid, via its mitogenic metabolite 13-hydroxyoctadecadienoic acid (13-HODE) is an important growth stimulant of rat hepatoma 7288CTC. Here we compared the effects of an alternating light:dark cycle (12L:12D), dim light (0.25 lux) present during the dark phase of a diurnal light cycle, and constant light on growth and fatty acid metabolism in hepatoma 7288CTC. Our results show that dim light suppressed melatonin release by the pineal gland, increased tumor linoleic acid uptake and 13-HODE production, and promoted tumor growth as effectively as did constant light.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Division
  • Darkness*
  • Disease Progression
  • Light*
  • Linoleic Acid / metabolism
  • Linoleic Acid / pharmacokinetics*
  • Linoleic Acids / metabolism
  • Male
  • Melatonin / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Melatonin / biosynthesis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred BUF


  • Linoleic Acids
  • 13-hydroxy-9,11-octadecadienoic acid
  • Linoleic Acid
  • Melatonin