Characterization of breast cancer progression in the rat

Wafa S. Al-Dhaheri, Imam Hassouna, Suhail Al-Salam, Sherif M. Karam

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

29 Citations (Scopus)


The incidence of breast cancer is continuously increasing worldwide. This increasing trend is attributed partly to the fact that a considerable number of cases are related to environmental factors and partly to the little information available on the early changes that occur during mammary gland carcinogenesis. To characterize some of these early cellular changes, breast cancer was induced in female rats using a single intragastric dose of the environmental carcinogen 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA; 80 mg/kg body weight). Mammary gland tissues of control and DMBA-treated rats were processed for routine histopathological examination and immunohistochemical analysis using an antibody specific for the proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). Microscopic examination of all mammary glands of DMBA-treated rats revealed a wide range of preneoplastic stages in addition to the well-characterized benign and malignant tumors that developed. The first stage was characterized by slightly dilated terminal ducts with accumulation of dead cells. This was designated the stage of cell death. Then, stages of hyperplasia, dysplasia, and carcinoma in situ followed. Immunohistochemical localization of PCNA in these preneoplastic lesions revealed an initial decrease followed by a gradual increase in the labeling index of PCNA. In conclusion, the DMBA-treated rats provide a useful model to dissect the early changes that occur during the multistep process of mammary gland carcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRecent Advances in Clinical Oncology
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Inc.
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781573317009
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2008

Publication series

NameAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
ISSN (Print)0077-8923
ISSN (Electronic)1749-6632


  • Breast cancer
  • Carcinogenesis
  • Cell death
  • Hyperplasia
  • Mammary gland
  • PCNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • History and Philosophy of Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization of breast cancer progression in the rat'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this