Author(s): Hakkak R, Holley AW, Macleod SL, Simpson PM, Fuchs GJ,
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Abstract INTRODUCTION: High body mass index has been associated with increased risk for various cancers, including breast cancer. Here we describe studies using 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA) to investigate the role of obesity in DMBA-induced mammary tumor susceptibility in the female Zucker rat (fa/fa), which is the most widely used rat model of genetic obesity. METHOD: Fifty-day-old female obese (n = 25) and lean (n = 28) Zucker rats were orally gavaged with 65 mg/kg DMBA. Rats were weighed and palpated twice weekly for detection of mammary tumors. Rats were killed 139 days after DMBA treatment. RESULTS: The first mammary tumor was detected in the obese group at 49 days after DMBA treatment, as compared with 86 days in the lean group (P < 0.001). The median tumor-free time was significantly lower in the obese group (P < 0.001). Using the days after DMBA treatment at which 25\% of the rats had developed mammary tumors as the marker of tumor latency, the obese group had a significantly shorter latency period (66 days) than did the lean group (118 days). At the end of the study, obese rats had developed a significantly (P < 0.001) greater mammary tumor incidence (68\% versus 32\%) compared with the lean group. The tumor histology of the mammary tumors revealed that obesity was associated with a significant (P < 0.05) increase in the number of rats with at least one invasive ductal and lobular carcinoma compared with lean rats. CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that obesity increases the susceptibility of female Zucker rats to DMBA-induced mammary tumors, further supporting the hypothesis that obesity and some of its mediators play a significant role in carcinogenesis.
This article was published in Breast Cancer Res
and referenced in Journal of Molecular and Genetic Medicine