Journal Article

Chorionic gonadotropin inhibits rat mammary carcinogenesis through activation of programmed cell death.

P Srivastava, J Russo and I H Russo

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 18, issue 9, pages 1799-1808
Published in print January 1997 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online January 1997 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Chorionic gonadotropin inhibits rat mammary carcinogenesis through activation of programmed cell death.

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Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) inhibits the progression of 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) induced mammary carcinomas. In order to determine whether this phenomenon was mediated by induction of programmed cell death or apoptosis, 45-day-old virgin Sprague-Dawley rats received 8 mg DMBA/100 g body weight; 20 days later they were injected daily with 100 IU hCG for 40 days (DMBA + hCG group). Age-matched untreated, hCG- and DMBA + saline treated rats were used as controls. Tissues were collected at the time of DMBA administration and at 5, 10, 20 and 40 days of hCG injection. RNA from mammary glands, adenocarcinomas and ovaries was probed for transforming growth factors (TGF) alpha and beta, and the apoptotic genes TRPM2, ICE, bcl2, bcl-XL, bcl-XS, p53 and c-myc. The mammary glands of hCG-treated animals with or without DMBA exhibited elevated expression of TRPM2, ICE, bcl-XS, c-myc and p53; and elevation in the apoptotic index. Mammary adenocarcinomas developed in those animals treated with hCG showed an elevation in the expression of p53, c-myc and ICE genes in comparison with the levels detected in the adenocarcinomas developed by the animals treated with DMBA alone. No significant alterations in the expression of any of the genes tested was observed in ovarian RNAs. These results led us to conclude that hCG induces programmed cell death in the mammary gland initiated in the carcinogenic process, that this process is p53 dependent, and is modulated by c-myc expression. Our data also indicate the possibility that a cell death program dependent on the bcl2 family exists, because of the potential involvement of p53, bcl-XS and Bax in apoptosis. This additional mechanism of tumor inhibition makes hCG treatment a useful approach for the prevention and therapy of breast cancer.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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