We examined alterations in the p53 tumor suppressor gene and the ras and HER-2/neu oncogenes in chicken ovarian cancers to determine if these tumors have genetic alterations similar to those in human ovarian adenocarcinomas. Mutations in the p53 tumor suppressor gene and the H-ras and K-ras oncogenes were assessed by direct sequencing in 172 ovarian cancers obtained from 4-year-old birds enrolled at age 2 in two separate 2-year chemoprevention trials. Birds in trial B had approximately twice as many lifetime ovulations as those in trial A. Immunohistochemical staining for the HER-2/neu oncogene was done on a subset of avian ovarian and oviductal adenocarcinomas. Alterations in p53 were detected in 48% of chicken ovarian cancers. Incidence of p53 alterations varied according to the number of lifetime ovulations, ranging from 14% in trial A to 96% in trial B (P < 0.01). No mutations were seen in H-ras, and only 2 of 172 (1.2%) tumors had K-ras mutations. Significant HER-2/neu staining was noted in 10 of 19 ovarian adenocarcinomas but in only 1 of 17 oviductal adenocarcinomas. Similar to human ovarian cancers, p53 alterations are common in chicken ovarian adenocarcinomas and correlate with the number of lifetime ovulations. Ras mutations are rare, similar to high-grade human ovarian cancers. HER-2/neu overexpression is common and may represent a marker to exclude an oviductal origin in cancers involving both the ovary and oviduct.
"The four histotypes observed in human are represented in the hen, although the endometrioid type is the predominant form found in the hen whereas the serous type is most prevalent in women
. Mutations in p53 are common in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) from both species
. Numerous characteristic markers are also shared between the tumors of the two species such as CA-125
 and COX-1
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
The laying hen model of spontaneous epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is unique in that it is the only model that enables observations of early events in disease progression and is therefore also uniquely suited for chemoprevention trials. Previous studies on the effect of dietary flaxseed in laying hens have revealed the potential for both amelioration and prevention of ovarian cancer. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of flaxseed on genes and pathways that are dysregulated in tumors. We have used a bioinformatics approach to identify these genes, followed by qPCR validation, immunohistochemical localization, and in situ hybridization to visualize expression in normal ovaries and tumors from animals fed a control diet or a diet containing 10% flaxseed.
Bioinformatic analysis of ovarian tumors in hens led to the identification of a group of highly up-regulated genes that are involved in the embryonic process of branching morphogenesis. Expression of these genes coincides with expression of E-cadherin in the tumor epithelium. Levels of expression of these genes in tumors from flax-fed animals are reduced 40-60%. E-cadherin and miR200 are both up-regulated in tumors from control-fed hens, whereas their expression is decreased 60-75% in tumors from flax-fed hens. This does not appear to be due to an increase in ZEB1 as mRNA levels are increased five-fold in tumors, with no significant difference between control-fed and flax-fed hens.
We suggest that nutritional intervention with flaxseed targets the pathways regulating branching morphogenesis and thereby alters the progression of ovarian cancer.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-709) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
"Thus non-invasive methods for selecting hens for studies and for monitoring tumor progression are available. Furthermore, naturally occurring genetic mutations such as p53, RAS and Her2/neu are found in hen tumors , , . Likewise, there is a growing list of proteins expressed in chicken ovarian tumors such as CA125 , mesothelin , COX 1 , , Selenium Binding Protein 1 , E-cadherin  and VEGF that are similarly altered in human ovarian tumors , , . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Spontaneous ovarian cancer in chickens resembles human tumors both histologically and biochemically. The goal was to determine if there are differences in lymphocyte content between normal ovaries and ovarian tumors in chickens as a basis for further studies to understand the role of immunity in human ovarian cancer progression.
Hens were selected using grey scale and color Doppler ultrasound to determine if they had normal or tumor morphology. Cells were isolated from ovaries (n = 6 hens) and lymphocyte numbers were determined by flow cytometry using antibodies to avian CD4 and CD8 T and B (Bu1a) cells. Ovarian sections from another set of hens (n = 26) were assessed to verify tumor type and stage and to count CD4, CD8 and Bu1a immunostained cells by morphometric analysis.
T and B cells were more numerous in ovarian tumors than in normal ovaries by flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry. There were less CD4+ cells than CD8+ and Bu1a+ cells in normal ovaries or ovarian tumors. CD8+ cells were the dominant T cell sub-type in both ovarian stroma and in ovarian follicles compared to CD4+ cells. Bu1a+ cells were consistently found in the stroma of normal ovaries and ovarian tumors but were not associated with follicles. The number of immune cells was highest in late stage serous tumors compared to endometrioid and mucinous tumors.
The results suggest that similar to human ovarian cancer there are comparatively more immune cells in chicken ovarian tumors than in normal ovaries, and the highest immune cell content occurs in serous tumors. Thus, this study establishes a foundation for further study of tumor immune responses in a spontaneous model of ovarian cancer which will facilitate studies of the role of immunity in early ovarian cancer progression and use of the hen in pre-clinical vaccine trials.
PLoS ONE 09/2013; 8(9):e74147. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0074147 · 3.23 Impact Factor
"Results of the present study are the first to identify a high level of expression of the PTN gene in GE of ovarian carcinoma in laying hens. Indeed, cancerous ovaries of hens show very similar patterns of expression of tumor-related genes compared with those in women , and high cross-reactivity and expression of biomarkers such as CA125, EGFR, and ERBB-2 for human ovarian cancer , , , . Therefore, laying hens are the most relevant animal model to identify biomarkers for patients with epithelial ovarian cancer. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pleiotrophin (PTN) is a developmentally-regulated growth factor which is widely distributed in various tissues and also detected in many kinds of carcinomas. However, little is known about the PTN gene in chickens. In the present study, we found chicken PTN to be highly conserved with respect to mammalian PTN genes (91-92.6%) and its mRNA was most abundant in brain, heart and oviduct. This study focused on the PTN gene in the oviduct where it was detected in the glandular (GE) and luminal (LE) epithelial cells. Treatment of young chicks with diethylstilbesterol induced PTN mRNA and protein in GE and LE, but not in other cell types of the oviduct. Further, several microRNAs, specifically miR-499 and miR-1709 were discovered to influence PTN expression via its 3'-UTR which suggests that post-transcriptional regulation influences PTN expression in chickens. We also compared expression patterns and CpG methylation status of the PTN gene in normal and cancerous ovaries from chickens. Our results indicated that PTN is most abundant in the GE of adenocarcinoma of cancerous, but not normal ovaries of hens. Bisulfite sequencing revealed that 30- and 40% of -1311 and -1339 CpG sites are demethylated in ovarian cancer cells, respectively. Collectively, these results indicate that chicken PTN is a novel estrogen-induced gene expressed mainly in the oviductal epithelia implicating PTN regulation of oviduct development and egg formation, and also suggest that PTN is a biomarker for epithelial ovarian carcinoma that could be used for diagnosis and monitoring effects of therapies for the disease.
PLoS ONE 04/2012; 7(4):e34215. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0034215 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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