Prostaglandins, Fatty Acids and Phospholipids in Normal and Neoplastic Breast Tissues

  • Grace Y. Sun
  • Benjamin S. Leung


Regulation of mammary functions by hormonal factors is a complex phenomenon. Consequently, many of the biochemical mechanisms underlying various functional changes are not yet well understood. It is realized, however, that a disturbance of the regulatory mechanisms may result in abnormal functioning of the gland. Fatty acids and phospholipids are important not only as structural components of the mammary cell membranes, but also in regulating the membrane functions (72). Metabolism of the membrane lipids is generally governed by membrane-bound enzymes, some of which are hormonally regulated. The mammary gland lipids are altered during physiological changes such as from non-pregnant to pregnant states, pregnancy to lactation or neoplastic transformation of the gland. In this chapter, the compositional and metabolic changes of fatty acids and phospholipide of the mammary gland under different physiological conditions will be described and a comparison of the changes of neoplastic tissues with normal tissue will be made. Neoplastic cell transformation and tumor growth are also correlated to effects exerted by dietary lipids. A discussion of the mammary gland prostaglandine is included because these molecules are derived from polyunsaturated fatty acids, and they may play an important role in regulating the glandular functions, as well as tumorigenesis.


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© Eden Press Inc. 1982

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  • Grace Y. Sun
  • Benjamin S. Leung

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