PPARγ influences susceptibility to DMBA-induced mammary, ovarian and skin carcinogenesis

Christopher J. Nicol, Michung Yoon, Jerrold M. Ward, Masamichi Yamashita, Katsumi Fukamachi, Jeffrey M. Peters, Frank J. Gonzalez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ), a member of the nuclear receptor superfamily, plays a role in adipocyte differentiation, type II diabetes, macrophage response to inflammation and is suggested to influence carcinogen-induced colon cancer. Studies done in vitro and in vivo also revealed that PPARγ ligands might promote differentiation and/or regression of mammary tumors. To directly evaluate the role of PPARγ in mammary carcinogenesis, PPARγ wild-type (+/+) or heterozygous (+/-) mice were administered 1 mg 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) by gavage once a week for 6 weeks and followed for a total of 25 weeks. Compared with congenic PPARγ (+/+) littermate controls, PPARγ(+/-) mice had early evidence for increased susceptibility to DMBA-mediated carcinogenesis based on a 1.6-fold increase in the percentage of mice with skin papillomas, as well as a 1.7-fold increase in the numbers of skin papillomas per mouse (P < 0.05). Similarly, PPARγ(+/-) mice also had a 1.5-fold decreased survival rate (P=0.059), and a 1.7-fold increased incidence of total tumors per mouse (P < 0.01). Moreover, PPARγ(+/-) mice had an almost 3-fold increase in mammary adenocarcinomas (P < 0.05), an over 3-fold increase in ovarian granulosa cell carcinomas (P < 0.05), an over 3-fold increase in malignant tumors (P < 0.02) and a 4.6-fold increase in metastatic incidence. These results are the first to demonstrate an increased susceptibility in vivo of PPARγ haploinsufficiency to DMBA-mediated carcinogenesis and suggest that PPARγ may act as a tumor modifier of skin, ovarian and breast cancers. The data also support evidence suggesting a beneficial role for PPARγ-specific ligands in the chemo-prevention of mammary, ovarian and skin carcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1747-1755
Number of pages9
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cancer Research


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