Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 46, Issue 2–3, pp 199–214

Mechanisms by which high maternal fat intake during pregnancy increases breast cancer risk in female rodent offspring

  • Leena Hilakivi-Clarke


Emerging evidence indicates that a high in utero estrogenic environment increases breast cancer risk in women. We have proposed that a maternal intake of a high-fat diet is a source for high pregnancy estrogen levels and increases breast cancer risk among female offspring. In this review, the role of dietary fat in breast cancer, particularly during fetal life, is discussed. In addition, we provide possible mechanisms of action of the effects of a high-fat diet on the breast. These mechanisms include protein kinase C, estrogens and estrogen receptor, and alterations in mammary parenchymal structures.

diet fat maternal nutrition protein kinase C estrogen receptor mammary parenchymal structures breast cancer risk 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leena Hilakivi-Clarke
    • 1
  1. 1.Lombardi Cancer Center, and Department of PsychiatryGeorgetown UniversityWashington DCUSA

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