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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Prolactin and aging: X-irradiated and estrogen-induced rat mammary tumorigenesis.

Both sexes of inbred WF rats at either 8 or 28-60 weeks of age were exposed to 200 rad whole-body radiation, 2.5 or 5.0 mg 17 beta-estradiol (E2), or both agents The female rats treated with E2 alone or with both X-rays and E2 at 8 weeks of age showed a high incidence of mammary carcinomas (MCA), a large increase in pituitary weight, and a rise in serum prolactin ( PRL) levels. However, the same treatments to males did not induce MCA despite a moderate increase in both pituitary weight and serum PRL. Ovariectomy prior to E2 treatment failed to modify the occurrence of MCA or pituitary tumors. When X-rays and E2 were given to female rats at 28-60 weeks of age, pituitary weight, serum PRL levels, and the incidence of MCA were unaffected. When the E2 pellet was kept for the first 24 weeks and withdrawn during the last 12 weeks, the incidence of MCA, pituitary weight, and serum PRL was low. It was concluded that: 1) the pituitary glands of young female rats were susceptible to E2 treatment but were insensitive in older females, and 2) the occurrence of MCA in female rats appeared to be promoted by elevated PRL levels secreted by E2-induced pituitary tumors. Mammary tissue of male rats was less sensitive to PRL levels in the development of MCA.[1]


  1. Prolactin and aging: X-irradiated and estrogen-induced rat mammary tumorigenesis. Ito, A., Naito, M., Watanabe, H., Yokoro, K. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. (1984) [Pubmed]
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