Journal Article

Comparative effects of lovastatin on mammary and prostate oncogenesis in transgenic mouse models

Masa-Aki Shibata, Claudine Kavanaugh, Eiko Shibata, Hideaki Abe, PhuongMai Nguyen, Yoshinori Otsuki, Jane B. Trepel and Jeffrey E. Green

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 24, issue 3, pages 453-459
Published in print March 2003 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online March 2003 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Comparative effects of lovastatin on mammary and prostate oncogenesis in transgenic mouse models

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The effects of lovastatin, a potent inhibitor of HMG CoA reductase, on experimental mammary and prostate oncogenesis, were studied in vitro and in vivo. Lovastatin inhibited cell growth in vitro in a dose-dependent manner for both mammary and prostate cancer cell lines, which was associated with p53-independent apoptosis. Flow cytometric analyses of lovastatin-treated mammary and prostate cancer cells demonstrated cell-cycle G1 arrest, as well as decreases in S and G2/M fractions. p21Waf1 and p27Kip1 were induced by lovastatin in both types of cancer cells. Gene expression profiling of cells treated with lovastatin, however, was remarkable for a paucity of transcriptional changes induced by lovastatin. Treatment with lovastatin for 4 weeks did inhibit the formation of pre-neoplastic mammary intraepithelial neoplasias (MIN) in vivo, but not invasive carcinomas in the C3(1)/SV40 TAg transgenic model of mammary cancer. The decreased multiplicity of MIN lesions was associated with increased levels of apoptosis in these lesions. However, cell proliferation in the mammary lesions was not significantly different between lovastatin-treated and control mice 1 day after lovastatin treatment. In female mice treated with lovastatin for 12 weeks, there was a tendency for reduced tumor volume, which did not reach statistical significance. However, lovastatin did not suppress any lesion formation in the prostate of C3(1)/SV40 TAg transgenic male mice. Our results suggest that as lovastatin exerts an inhibitory effect on the development of early mammary lesions of mammary carcinogenesis, this compound may be useful for the chemoprevention of mammary cancer and might have utility as an adjuvant in breast cancer therapy. The chemopreventive effects of lovastatin in vivo, however, may be tissue-specific.

Keywords: HMG-CoA, hydroxymethylglutaryl-coenzyme A; MIN, mammary intraepithelial neoplasias; PIN, prostatic intraneoplasia

Journal Article.  6238 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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