Recent in vitro evidence suggests that polyamines play an important role in the growth of the N-nitrosomethyl-urea (NMU)-induced rat mammary tumor, and that they may be involved in mediating the effect of estrogens on tumor growth. In support of this hypothesis, we here show that inhibition of polyamine biosynthesis with α-difluoromethyl-ornithine (DFMO) blocks the mitogenic effect of estradiol-17β (E2) added to NMU-mammary tumors grown in soft agar in the presence of the antiestrogen tamoxifen (Tam). Exogenous polyamine administration reversed the inhibitory effect of DFMO and restored E2 action. Administration of polyamine inhibitors to NMU-tumor-bearing rats induced significant inhibition of tumor growth, although tumor ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) was not consistently suppressed. Under our experimental conditions, such treatment did not potentiate the antitumor effect of Tam. Tam alone was found to suppress tumor ODC, suggesting a possible involvement of the polyamine pathway in its antitumor action. These data suggest that the polyamines may play an important role in the hormonal control of the growth of this experimental breast cancer.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research