Hepatocarcinogenicity of Dehydroepiandrosterone in the Rat

M. Sambasiva Rao, V. Subbarao, Anjana V. Yeldandi, Janardan K. Reddy

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Dehydroepiandrosterone, a major secretory steroid hormone of the human adrenal gland, possesses mitoinhibitory and anticarcinogenic properties. It also induces peroxisome proliferation in the livers of rats and mice. Because peroxisome proliferators exhibit hepatocarcinogenic potential, it is necessary to examine the long term hepatic effects of dehydroepiandrosterone since this hormone is contemplated for use as a potential cancer chemopreventive agent in humans. Dehydroepiandrosterone was administered in the diet at a concentration of 0.45% to F-344 rats for up to 84 weeks. At the termination of the experiment, 14 of 16 rats developed hepatoceUnlar carcinomas. Liver tumors induced by dehydroepiandrosterone lacked γ-glutamyl transpeptidase and glutathione 5-transferase (placental form); these phenotypic properties are identical to the features exhibited by liver tumors induced by other peroxisome proliferators. Dehydroepiandrosterone was also shown to markedly inhibit liver cell [3H]thymidine labeling indices, suggesting that cell proliferation is not a critical feature in liver tumor development with this agent. These results show that although dehydroepiandrosterone exerts anticarcinogenic effects in a variety of tissues, the peroxisome-proliferative property makes it a hepatocardnogen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2977-2979
Number of pages3
JournalCancer Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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