The effect of several sex steroid hormones on the growth rate of three morris hepatoma tumor lines



Morris hepatoma 44, whose growth is sensitive to thyroid hormones and prolactin, contains specific receptors for these hormones. In the present experiments, male Buffalo rats bearing Morris hepatoma 7787 were studied to determine the effects of several sex steroid hormones. Castration 1 week postimplantation inhibited tumor growth relative to controls (-53%). Replacement with testosterone propionate (1 mg per day s.c. injection) restored tumor growth to control levels, whereas administration of testosterone (2 mg per day s.c. injection) to castrated controls resulted in significant stimulation. Testosterone administered to control animals at a dose of 1 mg per day stimulated tumor growth (62%), whereas 2 mg per day failed to do so. Progesterone (4-pregnon-3,20-dione) at doses of 125 or 250 μg per day (Silastic implants) had no effect on tumor growth, whereas 500 μg per day stimulated tumor growth relative to controls. Estrogen (17β-estradiol) at doses of 6, 12, 04 24 μg per day (Silastic implants) did not influence tumor growth. Cytoplasmic testosterone receptors have been demonstrated in tumors (2.2 ± 0.8 fmoles per mg cytoplasm), although specific cytoplasmic estrogen and progesterone receptors could not be identified in this model. In female rats bearing either Morris hepatoma 44, 7787 or 5123-D, testosterone markedly stimulated tumor growth (226, 328 and 58%, respectively, relative to controls).

In conclusion, although Morris hepatoma 7787 appears to be androgen (testosterone) dependent and contains cytoplastic androgen receptors, it lacks specific cytoplasmic receptors for estrogen and progesterone and is not influenced by these hormones except at very high doses of progesterone.