A Surprising Link Between the Energetics of Ovariectomy‐induced Weight Gain and Mammary Tumor Progression in Obese Rats

Center for Human Nutrition, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, Colorado, USA.
Obesity (Impact Factor: 3.73). 10/2009; 18(4):696-703. DOI: 10.1038/oby.2009.307
Source: PubMed


Obesity increases the risk for postmenopausal breast cancer. We have modeled this metabolic context using female Wistar rats that differ in their polygenic predisposition for obesity under conditions of high-fat feeding and limited physical activity. At 52 days of age, rats were injected with 1-methyl-1-nitrosourea (MNU, 50 mg/kg) and placed in an obesogenic environment. At 19 weeks of age, the rats were separated into lean, mid-weight, and obese rats, based upon their weight gained during this time. The rats were ovariectomized (OVX) at approximately 24 weeks of age and the change in tumor multiplicity and burden, weight gain, energy intake, tumor estrogen receptor (ER) status, and humoral metabolite and cytokine profiles were examined. The survival and growth of tumors increased in obese rats in response to OVX. OVX induced a high rate of weight gain during post-OVX weeks 1-3, compared to SHAM-operated controls. During this time, feed efficiency (mg gain/kcal intake) was lower in obese rats, and this reduced storage efficiency of ingested fuels predicted the OVX-induced changes in tumor multiplicity (r = -0.64, P < 0.001) and burden (r = -0.57, P < 0.001). Tumors from obese rats contained more cells that expressed ERalpha, and post-OVX plasma from rats with the lowest feed efficiency had lower interleukin (IL)-2 and IL-4 levels. Our observations suggest a novel link between obesity and mammary tumor promotion that involves impaired fuel metabolism during OVX-induced weight gain. The metabolically inflexible state of obesity and its inability to appropriately respond to the OVX-induced energy imbalance provides a plausible explanation for this relationship and the emergence of obesity's impact on breast cancer risk after menopause.

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    • "It is during the early post-OVX period of overfeeding that obesity-associated differences in tumor growth emerge [67]. It has been shown that the inability to efficiently store excess calories during this early post-OVX period is associated with increased tumor multiplicity and burden [66]. In lean animals, excess calories are taken up by peripheral tissues (skeletal muscle, liver, adipose, and non-tumor-bearing mammary glands) but not by mammary tumors. "
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    ABSTRACT: The magnitude of the breast cancer problem implores researchers to aggressively investigate prevention strategies. However, several barriers currently reduce the feasibility of breast cancer prevention. These barriers include the inability to accurately predict future breast cancer diagnosis at the individual level, the need for improved understanding of when to implement interventions, uncertainty with respect to optimal duration of treatment, and negative side-effects associated with currently approved chemoprevention therapies. None-the-less, the unique biology of the mammary gland with its postnatal development and conditional terminal-differentiation may permit the resolution of many of these barriers. Specifically, lifecycle-specific windows of breast cancer risk have been identified that may be amenable to risk-reducing strategies. Here, we argue for prevention research focused on two of these lifecycle windows of risk; postpartum mammary gland involution and peri-menopause. We provide evidence that these windows are highly amenable to targeted, limited duration treatments. Such approaches could result in the prevention of postpartum and postmenopausal breast cancers, respectively.
    Experimental Cell Research 05/2013; 319(11). DOI:10.1016/j.yexcr.2013.04.018 · 3.25 Impact Factor
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    • "Because E2 reduces food intake and long–term hormone withdrawal increases body weight [21], [22], OVX animals were weighed every month after OVX. Body weight was also measured before and after ischemia/sham-operation, and again when rats were killed for histological analysis. "
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    ABSTRACT: Transient global forebrain ischemia causes selective, delayed death of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons, and the ovarian hormone 17β-estradiol (E2) reduces neuronal loss in young and middle-aged females. The neuroprotective efficacy of E2 after a prolonged period of hormone deprivation is controversial, and few studies examine this issue in aged animals given E2 treatment after induction of ischemia. The present study investigated the neuroprotective effects of E2 administered immediately after global ischemia in aged female rats (15-18 months) after 6 months of hormone deprivation. We also used electrophysiological methods to assess whether CA1 synapses in the aging hippocampus remain responsive to E2 after prolonged hormone withdrawal. Animals were ovariohysterectomized and underwent 10 min global ischemia 6 months later. A single dose of E2 (2.25 µg) infused intraventricularly after reperfusion significantly increased cell survival, with 45% of CA1 neurons surviving vs 15% in controls. Ischemia also induced moderate loss of CA3/CA4 pyramidal cells. Bath application of 1 nM E2 onto brain slices derived from non-ischemic aged females after 6 months of hormone withdrawal significantly enhanced excitatory transmission at CA1 synapses evoked by Schaffer collateral stimulation, and normal long-term potentiation (LTP) was induced. The magnitude of LTP and of E2 enhancement of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials was indistinguishable from that recorded in slices from young rats. The data demonstrate that 1) acute post-ischemic infusion of E2 into the brain ventricles is neuroprotective in aged rats after 6 months of hormone deprivation; and 2) E2 enhances synaptic transmission in CA1 pyramidal neurons of aged long-term hormone deprived females. These findings provide evidence that the aging hippocampus remains responsive to E2 administered either in vivo or in vitro even after prolonged periods of hormone withdrawal.
    PLoS ONE 06/2012; 7(6):e38018. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0038018 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study presents an in-depth analysis of the effects of obesity on energy balance (EB) and fuel utilization in adult female rats, over the estrous cycle and immediately after surgical ovariectomy (OVX), to model pre- and postmenopausal states, respectively. Female Wistar rats were fed a high-fat (46%) diet for 16 wk to produce mature lean and obese animals. Stage of estrous was identified by daily vaginal lavage, while energy intake (EI), total energy expenditure (TEE), and fuel utilization were monitored in a multichamber indirect calorimeter and activity was monitored by infrared beam breaks. Metabolic monitoring studies were repeated during the 3-wk period of rapid OVX-induced weight gain. Component analysis of TEE was performed to determine the nonresting and resting portions of energy expenditure. Obesity was associated with a greater fluctuation in EB across the estrous cycle. Cycling obese rats were less active, expended more energy per movement, and oxidized more carbohydrate than lean rats. The changes in EB over the cycle in lean and obese rats were driven by changes in EI. Finally, OVX induced a large positive energy imbalance in obese and lean rats. This resulted primarily from an increase in EI in both groups, with little change in TEE following OVX. These observations reveal a dominant effect of obesity on EB, fuel utilization, and activity levels in cycling rats, which has implications for studies focused on obesity and EB in female rodents.
    AJP Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology 10/2010; 299(6):R1634-42. DOI:10.1152/ajpregu.00219.2010 · 3.11 Impact Factor
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