Metabolic reprogramming is a hallmark of cancer. Nutrient availability in the tissue microenvironment determines cellular events and may play a role in breast carcinogenesis. High mammographic density is an independent risk factor for breast cancer. Whether nutrient availability differs in normal breast tissues with various densities is unknown. Therefore we investigated whether breast tissues with various densities exhibited differences in nutrient availability. Healthy postmenopausal women from the regular mammographic screening program who had either predominantly fatty breast tissue (nondense), n = 18, or extremely dense breast tissue (dense), n = 20, were included. Microdialysis was performed for the in vivo sampling of amino acids (AAs), analyzed by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectroscopy, glucose, lactate and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in breast tissues and, as a control, in abdominal subcutaneous (s.c.) fat. We found that dense breast tissue exhibited significantly increased levels of 20 proteinogenic AAs and that 18 of these AAs correlated significantly with VEGF. No differences were found in the s.c. fat, except for one AA, suggesting tissue-specific alterations in the breast. Glucose and lactate were unaltered. Our findings provide novel insights into the biology of dense breast tissue that may be explored for breast cancer prevention strategies.
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