Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplementation has been reported to negatively correlate with cancer cell proliferation and tumour development in many cancer types. Although cumulative evidence has demonstrated the apoptotic effect and cytotoxicity of DHA against tumour development in many cell types, the precise cellular and biochemical mechanisms of DHA-induced apoptosis in human endometrial cancer cells have not been investigated.

Material and methods:
MTT assay was performed to confirm the degree of apoptosis by combining treatment with DHA and triacsin C in endometrial cancer cell line. The synergistic effects of triacsin C and DHA were identified by performing flowcytometry and immunoblotting analysis.

Combined treatment with DHA and triacsin C significantly induced apoptosis in RL95-2 endometrial carcinoma cells. Combined treatment with 125 µM DHA and 5 µM triacsin C significantly increased the sub-G1 population and apoptotic fragments in endometrial carcinoma cells. It was also demonstrated that DHA and triacsin C induced apoptosis through mitochondrial pathways via caspases-9, -3, and -7 as well as through the extrinsic pathway by activation of caspase-8/BID.

Further elucidation of the apoptotic mechanisms involving DHA treatment with ACS ablation could shed light on possible new treatment strategies for endometrial cancer. In addition, further research into the mechanisms of DHA and triacsin C-induced apoptotic mechanisms may lead to the development of therapeutic strategies for endometrial cancer.