Author(s): Kalliomki TM, McCallum G, Wells PG, Hill RP
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Abstract Hypoxia is a predictor of poor patient survival in several cancers, including breast carcinomas. One possible mechanism is genomic instability induced by oxic stress. In this study we examined this possible mechanism by exposing an in vivo breast cancer model to hypoxia/reoxygenation. MMTV-Neu transgenic mice were exposed to cycling acute (AH) or chronic hypoxia (CH) before (early) or after (late) tumour detection to study effects of hypoxia on tumour initiation and progression, respectively. We observed no effect of the hypoxic exposures on times to first tumour detection, but we saw a trend of early AH-exposed mice to develop more tumours and macrometastases than CH-exposed mice. Unexpectedly, but consistent with these findings, we observed significantly reduced 8-oxo-dG lesions levels in the mammary tissue with the greatest difference observed between the air control (AC) and AH-exposed groups. In the late gassing group, there was a similar trend for reduced 8-oxo-dG lesion levels, but interestingly mice that developed macroscopic lung metastases demonstrated significantly increased levels of 8-oxo-dG lesions in their tumours relative to those that did not, irrespective of the gassing exposure. A trend for increased macrophage content was observed in tumours from mice exposed to acute hypoxia. Our results indicate that oxic stress induced by hypoxia/reoxygenation is unlikely to be a major factor driving tumour progression of established MMTV-Neu tumours but suggest that acute and chronic hypoxia may affect tumour incidence and metastasis when applied prior to tumour development.
This article was published in Cancer Lett
and referenced in Journal of Cytology & Histology