The Adjuvant Effect of Squalene, an Active Ingredient of Functional Foods, on Doxorubicin-Treated Allograft Mice.
Many functional foods or physiologically active ingredients derived from plants and animals are actively being investigated for their role in chronic disease prevention. Squalene (SQ) is found as active ingredient in the functional foods predominantly present in olive oil and shark liver oil. It is known that during chemotherapy anticancer drugs induce inflammation. SQ has been thought to prevent and suppress inflammation; however, there is little direct evidence available. We examined the adjuvant effect of SQ on tumor-transplanted mice along with anticancer drug doxorubicin (DOX). SQ significantly suppressed the DOX-induced increase in prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) concentration (P < 0.05) in plasma of tumor-bearing mice. SQ inhibited the numbers of writhing response (P < 0.05), formalin-induced pain and decreased COX-2 and substance P expression in the tumor tissue compared to control mice and also enhanced the antitumor efficacy of DOX in allograft mice. Thus, SQ reduces inflammation through modulation of PGE2 production indicating its potential as an adjuvant during chemotherapy in tumor-bearing mice.