Promotive effects of diethylstilbestrol, its metabolite (Z,Z-dienestrol) and a stereoisomer of the metabolite (E,E-dienestrol) in tumorigenesis of rat mammary glands pregnancy-dependently initiated with radiation.

PMID 8222069


Wistar-MS rats received whole body irradiation with 260 cGy gamma-rays at day 20 of pregnancy and then were treated with diethylstilbestrol (DES), E,E-dienestrol (E,E-DIES) or Z,Z-dienestrol (Z,Z-DIES) for 1 year. DES administration caused the highest incidence of mammary tumors with a concomitant reduction of gain in body weight. When E,E-DIES or Z,Z-DIES in pellet form was implanted, the incidence of tumors was significantly lower than that observed in rats treated with DES. To clarify the increased susceptibility to mammary tumorigenesis after DES administration we measured hormone levels in the serum of rats implanted with pellets containing derivatives of the synthetic estrogens. The serum prolactin concentration was significantly increased by DES administration. When E,E-DIES or Z,Z-DIES pellets were implanted the prolactin level was markedly reduced to 4.5% and 0.7% of that observed in DES-treated rats, respectively. In addition, the serum concentrations of estradiol-17 beta and progesterone in rats with Z,Z-DIES pellets were higher than those of rats with DES or E,E-DIES pellets. A large number of DES-induced mammary tumors were positive for both estrogen and progesterone receptors, but no tumors negative for both receptors were obtained. The findings suggest that DES acts directly on radiation-initiated mammary cells via binding with estrogen receptors and/or stimulates the secretion of prolactin from the pituitary glands.