• Estradiol;
  • Mammary tumor;
  • Collagen;
  • Extracellular matrix


Estradiol plays a vital role in the growth and development of mammary glands. It is a potent stimulator of metabolic processes in normal and carcinoma breast. A critical factor in determining mammary glandular morphology is the stroma. Collagen is a predominant component of the extracellular matrix and cell—collagen interactions are essential carcinogenesis. The present investigation explored the influence of estradiol on collagen solubility and metabolism in mammary tumors during tumor progression and regression. A single injection of 20 mg of 9,10-dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene was given to rats at 7 weeks of age. With the appearance of the first palpable mammary tumor, the rats were treated with 0.5 μg estradiol or 50 μg tamoxifen daily for 30 days. The rats were sacrificed 24 h after 30 days of treatment. Estradiol appears to stimulate the synthesis of new collagens and thus contributes to the enlargement of the mammary tumors. This might have created a potential microenvironment by increasing the synthesis of suitable matrix that sustains the growth of the mammary tumors. In short, the present findings emphasize a definite mediatory role for collagen in estradiol promoted mammary tumor growth.