The most recent American Dietary Guidelines (2020-2025) recommend shifting dietary fats from solid saturated fats to unsaturated oils. Dietary oils contain different compositions of unsaturated fatty acids (UFA). Oleic acid (OA) and linoleic acid (LA) are the most common UFA in dietary oils. How individual UFA in oils regulate immune cell function and cancer risk remains unclear. Here we demonstrated that high fat diets (HFD) rich either in OA or LA induced a similar degree of murine obesity, but the LA-rich HFD specifically promoted mammary tumor growth. LA impaired anti-tumor T cell responses by promoting naïve T cell apoptosis and inhibiting TNFα production. While exogenous OA and LA were taken up by T cells with similar efficacy, only LA induced significant mitochondrial ROS production and lipid peroxidation. Importantly, naïve T cells predominantly expressed epidermal fatty acid binding protein (E-FABP), which is central in facilitating LA mitochondrial transport and cardiolipin incorporation. Genetic depletion of E-FABP rescued LA-impaired T cell responses and suppressed LA-rich HFD-associated mammary tumor growth. Collectively, these data suggest that dietary oils high in LA promote mammary tumors by inducing E-FABP-mediated T cell dysfunction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research