7,12-Dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced malignancies in a mouse model of menopause

Samuel L. Marion, Jennifer Watson, Nivedita Sen, Molly A. Brewer, Jennifer K. Barton, Patricia B. Hoyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Ovarian cancer has a high mortality rate because there are few symptoms in early disease development. The incidence of ovarian cancer increases in women after menopause. Understanding early events in this disease can best be achieved by using animal models. Therefore, the objective of this study was to develop and track the onset of ovarian tumorigenesis in mice mimicking characteristics of postmenopausal epithelial cancer in women. Female B6C3F1 mice (age, 28 d) received 4-vinylcyclohexene diepoxide (VCD, 160 mg/kg IV daily for 20 d) to cause ovarian failure. Four months after VCD treatment, via surgical intervention, each mouse received a single injection of 7,12-dimethylbenz[a] anthracene (DMBA) or vehicle control (sesame oil) under the bursa of the right ovary to cause ovarian neoplasms. The experimental groups were untreated controls (Con-Con), DMBA-treatment only (Con-DMBA), VCD treatment only (VCD-Con), and VCD+DMBA-treated (VCD+DMBA) mice. At 3, 5, 7, and 9 mo after DMBA injection, ovaries were collected for histologic and immunohistochemical evaluation. No tumors developed in Con-Con mice. All VCD-treated mice (with or without DMBA) exhibited ovarian failure. Mice that received both VCD and DMBA exhibited tumors at 3 mo (50%), 5 mo (14%), 7 mo (90%), and 9 mo (57%) after DMBA treatment; 31% of the tumors were epithelial in origin. Our findings confirm that inducing ovarian tumors in mice by chemical means is an effective method for studying early stages of tumor development that may be relevant to epithelial ovarian cancers that arise in postmenopausal women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-12
Number of pages7
JournalComparative medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Veterinary


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