Cyclin D(1) expression during rat mammary tumor development and its potential role in the resistance of the Copenhagen rat
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DescriptionBACKGROUND: Resistance to mammary tumorigenesis in Copenhagen rats is associated with loss of early preneoplastic lesions known as intraductal proliferations. The cause of this disappearance, however, is unknown. RESULTS: There were no differences in the numbers of lesions in mammary whole-mounts prepared from Copenhagen or Wistar-Furth rats at 20 or 30 days after N-methyl-N-nitrosourea treatment, but at 37 days there were significantly fewer lesions in Copenhagen glands. Furthermore, lesions in Copenhagen glands were exclusively intraductal proliferations, whereas in Wistar-Furth glands more advanced lesions were also present. Immunohistochemical staining showed frequent cyclin D(1) overexpression in Wistar-Furth lesions at 37 days, but not in Copenhagen lesions. There were, however, no differences in p16(INK4a) protein expression, bromodeoxyuridine labeling and apoptotic indices, or mast cell infiltration between Copenhagen and Wistar-Furth lesions at any time. CONCLUSIONS: Overexpression of cyclin D(1) in preneoplastic lesions may be important in the development of mammary tumors in susceptible rats, although this overexpression does not appear to cause significant changes in cell kinetics. Furthermore, the low levels of cyclin D(1) expression in Copenhagen intraductal proliferations may play a role in the resistance of these rats to mammary tumorigenesis.
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