Synergistic effect of MNU and DMBA in mammary carcinogenesis and H-ras activation in female Sprague-Dawley rats

Katsumasa Shirai, Yoshiko Uemura, Manabu Fukumoto, Tetsuya Tsukamoto, Rhett Pascual, Satyabrata Nandi, Airo Tsubura

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21 Citations (Scopus)


The combined application of N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU) and 7,12-dimethylbenz[α]anthracene (DMBA) was compared with the administration of each carcinogen alone as to the effectiveness of the induction of mammary carcinomas and the influence of H-ras oncogene activation in female Sprague-Dawley rats. At 50 days of age, group 1 received 30 mg/kg MNU intraperitoneally (i.p.), group 2 received 30 mg/kg DMBA i.p., group 3 received 60 mg/kg MNU i.p., group 4 received 60 mg/kg DMBA i.p., group 5 received 30 mg/kg MNU followed by 30 mg/kg DMBA i.p., group 6 received 30 mg/kg MNU i.p., and then 30 mg/kg DMBA intravenously (i.v.) and group 7 remained untreated. Animals were killed when the largest mammary tumor reached 1-2 cm in diameter or were necropsied when they were 30 weeks of age. MNU i.p., produced no deaths (groups 1 and 3), however, the i.p. administration of DMBA induced death due to peritonitis (groups 2, 4 and 5), whereas the i.v. administration of DMBA suppressed the death (group 6). All of the tumors produced by MNU were adenocarcinomas of mammary origin. In contrast, DMBA produced tumors of other than mammary origin. The combined treatment with DMBA and MNU increased the mammary carcinogenic effect; it significantly increased the mean number of mammary cancers per rat. With either carcinogen alone and in combination, the mammary carcinomas produced identical adenocarcinoma histology. Of the mammary carcinomas induced by the combined application of MNU and DMBA(group 6), all 11 tumors from five rats showed the GGA to GAA transitional mutation in H-ras codon 12 (38%) and all 18 tumors from the other 10 rats remained as wild-type. An H-ras point mutation at codon 61 was not detected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-93
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25-11-1997
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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