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Evaluation of Molecular Markers in a Rat Model of Mammary Carcinogenesis

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We sought to evaluate the molecular markers involved in breast tumorigenesis in a rat model that mimics many essential elements of human breast cancer. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into two groups. Animals in group 1 were given a single dose of 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) (20 mg/rat) dissolved in 1 ml of sesame oil by intragastric intubation. Group 2 animals received basal diet and served as control. We analyzed DMBA-induced changes in the expression of CYP isoforms (CYP1A1 and 1B1) involved in DMBA metabolism, markers of oxidative stress (4HNE, HEL, and 8-OHdG), cell survival and proliferation (PCNA, NF-κB-p50, NF-κB-p65, GST-P, and p53), apoptosis (Bcl-2, Bax, caspases, Apaf-1, cytochrome C, and Fas), invasion (uPA, MMP-2, MMP-9, TIMP-2, and RECK), and angiogenesis (VEGF, VEGF-R1, HIF-1α, and PLGF) by immunohistochemical localization, Western blot, and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis. The present study demonstrates increased carcinogen metabolism, oxidative stress, cell proliferation, together with apoptosis evasion, invasion, metastasis, and neovascularization that may confer a selective growth advantage to DMBA-induced mammary tumors. Aberrant expression of multiple molecules in key signaling pathways in Sprague-Dawley rat mammary tumors renders this model as an important tool for monitoring carcinogenic progression and chemointervention.
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Keywords: Apoptosis; Breast cancer; Cell proliferation; Oxidative stress

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2009

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