Journal of Endocrinology vol:95 issue:3 pages:357-68
The effects of neonatally administered steroids on the sensitivity of the mammary gland to tumour induction by 7, 12-dimethylbenz (alpha) anthracene was studied as a model for delayed (de) differentiating effects of steroid hormones. Immediately after birth male and female rats were gonadectomized and treated with testosterone, oestradiol or oil. Control animals were left intact. On day 45 all the gonadectomized animals and some of the control animals received an implant which delivered continuous low levels of oestradiol. The carcinogen was administered on day 55. The administration of an oestradiol implant, which increased prolactin levels in all animals, markedly reduced tumour incidence in intact female rats and increased tumour incidence in intact male rats. Neonatal administration of testosterone or oestradiol did not significantly influence tumour incidence, histopathology or oestradiol responsiveness in neonatally gonadectomized rats but tended to decrease tumour animals suggests that the effects observed by other authors in intact rats are mediated by changes in gonadal secretions. It is concluded that the hormonal environment during and after tumour induction plays a major role in the development of 7, 12-dimethylbenz (alpha) anthracene-induced mammary carcinomas.