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Promotion of dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-initiated mammary carcinogenesis by iron in female Sprague-Dawley rats



Promotion of dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-initiated mammary carcinogenesis by iron in female Sprague-Dawley rats



Carcinogenesis 18(9): 1757-1762



Iron body-stores and iron dietary intake have been sporadically reported to increase the risk of cancer in humans. To investigate the effect of iron on the development of mammary tumors, female Sprague-Dawley rats were given dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) (5 mg/kg, i.g., 1x) at 55 days of age. Eight days later, rats received iron(II) sulfate s.c. (50 micromol/kg, 2x/week) for 53 weeks. Mammary tumors started to appear 6-8 weeks after DMBA initiation. At 20 weeks after DMBA treatment, iron(II) increased mammary tumor frequency twofold (11/30 versus 5/30 with DMBA alone). Tumor frequency increased with time and was significantly higher in iron-promoted rats after 40 weeks of treatment (24/30 versus 11/30, P = 0.001). Also, mammary tumors in iron-promoted rats were significantly larger than in DMBA-only rats at 20 weeks after initiation (P = 0.04) and this difference remained significant through the observation time point at 40 weeks. Iron could be detected histochemically in the stromal connective tissue, but not in the epithelial cells of mammary carcinomas. Mammary tumors in the DMBA-only group were mostly adenomas and adenocarcinomas, while those promoted by iron sulfate included fibroadenomas, adenomas and adenocarcinomas. Thus, iron(II) administered s.c. subsequent to DMBA initiation, greatly accelerated mammary carcinogenesis, implying its promoting activity for mammary tissue of female rats.

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Accession: 047100783

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PMID: 9328172

DOI: 10.1093/carcin/18.9.1757


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