Mouse Mammary Gland Is Refractory to the Effects of Ethanol after Natural Lactation

Department of Laboratory Animal Facilities, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA.
Comparative medicine (Impact Factor: 0.74). 02/2013; 63(1):38-47.
Source: PubMed


Ethanol is a dietary factor that dose-dependently increases breast cancer risk in women. We previously have shown that ethanol increases mammary epithelial density through increased branching after dietary exposure during puberty in CD2/F1 mice. To extend these studies to parous mice in a breast cancer model, we used a transgenic mouse model of human parity-associated breast cancer, the FVB-MMTV-Her2/Neu mouse, which overexpresses wildtype EGFR2, resulting in constitutive activation of growth signaling in the mammary epithelium. Here we describe the short-term effects of ethanol feeding on progression through involution. Mice were fed diets supplemented with 0%, 0.5%, 1%, or 2% ethanol for 4, 9, or 14 d starting on day 21 of lactation (that is, at the start of natural postlactational involution). Unlike peripubertal mice exposed to ethanol, postlactational dams showed no changes in body weight; liver, spleen, and kidney weights; and pathology. Ethanol exposure had no effect on mammary gland lobular density and adipocyte size throughout involution. Likewise, the infiltration of inflammatory cells and serum oxidized lipid species were unchanged by diet, suggesting that ethanol feeding had no effect on local inflammation (leukocyte infiltration) or systemic inflammation (oxidized lipids). In conclusion, ethanol exposure of parous dams had no effect on mammary gland structure or the regression of the lactating mammary gland to a resting state. The period of involution that follows natural lactation appears to be refractory to developmental effects of ethanol on mammary epithelium.

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    ABSTRACT: Alcohol consumption by adult women is consistently associated with risk of breast cancer. Several questions regarding alcohol and breast cancer need to be addressed. Menarche to first pregnancy represents a window of time when breast tissue is particularly susceptible to carcinogens. Youth alcohol consumption is common in the USA, largely in the form of binge drinking and heavy drinking. Whether alcohol intake acts early in the process of breast tumorigenesis is unclear. This review aims to focus on the influences of timing and patterns of alcohol consumption and the effect of alcohol on intermediate risk markers. We also review possible mechanisms underlying the alcohol-breast cancer association.
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