Estrogen treatment enhances hereditary renal tumor development in Eker rats.
Hormonal influences are known to affect the development of renal cell carcinoma in man and laboratory animal models. We tested the hypothesis that estrogen treatment or ovariectomy of rats modulates renal tumor development using tuberous sclerosis 2 (Tsc2) heterozygous mutant (Eker) rats in which a germline mutation predisposes the animals to renal cell tumor development. Two-month-old female wild-type and Eker rats were ovariectomized or sham-operated and treated with placebo or 5 mg 17beta-estradiol in s.c. pellets for 6 or 10 months. Rats were examined at 8 or 12 months of age, at which time the numbers of renal tumors and preneoplastic foci were quantitated and the severity of nephropathy was assessed. In contrast to what may have been expected, prolonged estrogen treatment enhanced the development of hereditary renal cell tumors, with a 2-fold greater number of preneoplastic and neoplastic renal lesions compared with untreated Eker rats. Ovariectomized Eker rats had 33% fewer renal lesions than the unmanipulated control group. No tumors or preneoplastic lesions were present in wild-type rats at either time point. Estrogen treatment increased the severity of nephropathy in both wild-type and Eker rats, whereas ovariectomy was protective against nephropathic changes. Although estrogen is not a rat renal carcinogen, it enhanced the development of hereditary renal cell tumors when administered to Eker rats. Eker rats heterozygous for a mutation in the Tsc2 locus provide a good model in which to study how genetic and hormonal factors contribute to the development of renal cell tumors and to understand the influence genetic susceptibility has on the development of renal cell carcinoma.
Wolf, DC; Goldsworthy, TL; Donner, EM; Harden, R; Fitzpatrick, B; Everitt, JI
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