Relation of the Neuroendocrine System to the Development of Mammary Tumors in Rats during Aging

  • Clifford W. Welsch
  • Charles F. Aylsworth


Among the vast array of rodent models of human breast cancer, the carcinogen-induced, i.e., MCA, DMBA, MNU, rat mammary tumor model has received the greatest attention, particularly from those who are interested in the hormonal control of this disease. The popularity of this experimental tumor system stems from the realization that this model closely parallels the human disease, as judged by significant morphological and physiological criteria. For example, carcinogen-induced rat mammary carcinomas appear to arise from the ductal elements of the mammary gland (Russo et al., 1977), and most human breast carcinomas also appear to be of ductal origin (Wellings et al., 1975). A crucial viral component has not been clearly demonstrated in this model (Chopra and Taylor, 1970), nor has such a factor been unequivocally demonstrated in the human disease (McGrath and Soule, 1977). Most of the rat mammary carcinomas induced by chemical carcinogens are hormone (pituitary and ovarian) responsive (Welsch, 1982) as are a significant fraction of human breast carcinomas (Segaloff, 1975). Furthermore, carcinogens such as DMBA and MNU are relatively specific for the mam-mary gland (other organs are not often involved) and a single injection of either one of these carcinogens is tumorigenic in the rat, allowing one to examine separately the initiation and promotional phases of this neo-plastic process (Welsch et al.,1980, 1981).


Mammary Gland Mammary Carcinoma Prolactin Secretion Serum Prolactin Level Mammary Tumorigenesis 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clifford W. Welsch
    • 1
  • Charles F. Aylsworth
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnatomyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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