Irradiation and prolactin effects on rat mammary carcinogenesis: Intrasplenic pituitary and estrone capsule implants

K. H. Clifton, J. Yasukawa-Barnes, M. A. Tanner, R. V. Haning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The implantation of silicone capsules that contained estrone and that were adjacent to grafts of anterior pituitary tissue in the spleens of adrenalectomized glucocorticoid-deficient inbred F344 rats resulted in high circulating prolactin (Prl) levels without the untoward effects of chronic hyperestrogenism or of grafts of Prl-secreting pituitary tumors. All peripheral serum estrone titers were below the titers in sera of proestrous untreated intact rats. Peripheral serum estrone and Prl levels were, however, a function of capsule surface area over the capsule sizes tested (12-74 mm2); the elevated Prl levels persisted for as long as 700 days. In adrenalectomized glucocorticoid-deficient female rats, both 5 Gy γ-irradiation alone and intrasplenic pituitary-estrone implants alone induced mammary carcinomas; the combination of these treatments induced a greater incidence of first carcinomas and reduced first carcinoma latency. There were, however, no marked differences in tumor incidence or latency due to differences in estrone capsule size. Finally, ovariectomy reduced first carcinoma risk in irradiated, pituitary-estrone-implanted rats but did not change the time of maximum risk. Ovarian secretory activity thus persisted in such rats and ovarian hormones synergized with Prl in mammary carcinoma induction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-175
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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