The induction of benign epithelial neoplasms of the ovaries of guinea pigs by testosterone stimulation: a potential animal model

Mod Pathol. 1997 Sep;10(9):879-83.


We studied the effects of different hormones on the epithelial cells of the ovaries of 11 guinea pigs. Three received testosterone, two received estrone, three megestrol, and three chorionic gonadotropin. Three control guinea pigs received sterile water. Benign epithelial cysts larger than 1.5 mm were found in six guinea pigs, three who received testosterone, one who received megestrol, and two who received chorionic gonadotropin. In one of the three guinea pigs who received testosterone, 2.5-cm bilateral cysts were grossly identified. Papillary excrescences were found on the ovarian surface in four guinea pigs, three who received testosterone and one who received megestrol. The proliferating epithelial cells also formed benign glands in the ovarian stroma in two guinea pigs who received testosterone, the most exuberant epithelial proliferations, including large bilateral cystadenomas, papillary excrescence that formed a small papillary neoplasm, and glands in the ovarian stroma that formed adenomatous areas, were seen in the guinea pig who received an intermediate dose of testosterone for the longest time. By radioimmunoassay, the serum level of testosterone was 22 ng/dL in one of the controls and 10,000, 12,000, and 15,000 ng/dL in the three guinea pigs who received testosterone. In the guinea pig with the most exuberant epithelial proliferation, the level of testosterone in the uterus was similar to that in the serum (13,860 ng/mg), but in the wall of the ovarian epithelial cyst, it was three times higher than it was in the serum (44,000 ng/mg). Our study shows that testosterone stimulates the growth of epithelial cells in the ovaries of guinea pigs, resulting in benign cysts, small adenomas in the ovarian parenchyma, and papillomas on the ovarian surface. The study also shows that guinea pigs can be used as an animal model for epithelial tumors of the human ovary.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin / pharmacology
  • Cystadenoma / chemically induced
  • Cystadenoma / chemistry
  • Cystadenoma / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Epithelium / chemistry
  • Epithelium / drug effects
  • Epithelium / pathology
  • Estrone / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Megestrol / pharmacology
  • Ovarian Cysts / chemically induced
  • Ovarian Cysts / chemistry
  • Ovarian Cysts / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Papilloma / chemically induced
  • Papilloma / chemistry
  • Papilloma / pathology
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Testosterone / administration & dosage
  • Testosterone / analysis
  • Testosterone / pharmacology*
  • Uterus / chemistry


  • Chorionic Gonadotropin
  • Estrone
  • Testosterone
  • Megestrol