Fatty acid patterns in gastric mucosa of stomach cancer patients

Yonsei Med J. 2001 Apr;42(2):220-6. doi: 10.3349/ymj.2001.42.2.220.


omega6 and omega3 fatty acids are important cellular components and known to be involved in disease processes. However, few studies have focused on mucosa fatty acid in human gastric cancer. The purpose of this study was to investigate how fatty acid patterns of mucosa are altered in gastric cancer. Fatty acids were analyzed by gas chromatography and their relative compositions (%) were determined and evaluated both in mucosa total-fatty acids and in phospholipid-fatty acids in paired cancerous and non-cancerous gastric cancer tissues (n = 18). The level of arachidonic acid (20:4omega6, AA) appeared significantly higher both in phospholipid-fatty acids (p < 0.05) and in total-fatty acids (p < 0.001) in cancerous mucosa compared to non-cancerous mucosa. The omega6/omega3 fatty acid ratio of phospholipid-fatty acids was also significantly higher in cancerous mucosa. The higher level of AA in cancerous tissue can be partially explained by the higher ratio of 20:4omega 6/20:3omega6 (desaturation index) and the lower ratio of 22:4omega6/20:4 omega6 (elongation index). The change in the relative composition of arachidonic acid may influence the production of prostaglandins and related metabolites, which regulate cell differentiation and proliferation. The findings of this study with respect to fatty acid changes, especially in terms of arachidonic acid metabolism, may be of relevance in the understanding of the roles of specific fatty acids and possibly of eicosanoids in gastric cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arachidonic Acid / metabolism
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Gastric Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phospholipids / metabolism
  • Stomach Neoplasms / metabolism*


  • Fatty Acids
  • Phospholipids
  • Arachidonic Acid