Dehydroepiandrosterone inhibits the growth of DMBA-induced rat mammary carcinoma via the androgen receptor

Oncol Rep. Jan-Feb 1998;5(1):241-3. doi: 10.3892/or.5.1.241.


Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) exerts opposite effects on the growth of mammary carcinoma. A stimulatory effect is observed in absence of estrogens, due to interaction of DHEA metabolite(s) with the estrogen receptor (ER); by contrast, in presence of estrogens DHEA inhibits tumor growth. The mechanism underlying the latter DHEA effect, which might be related to activation of the androgen receptor (AR), is poorly understood. Focusing on this point, we measured over a 20 days period the areas of DMBA-induced mammary tumors in rats given DHEA and/or the anti-androgen flutamide (FLU). Results show that DHEA inhibitory effect on the growth of mammary carcinoma is no longer observed when the ARs are blocked by FLU. Data are consistent with an involvement of ARs in the inhibitory effect of DHEA.

MeSH terms

  • 9,10-Dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal / therapeutic use*
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Flutamide / therapeutic use*
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / chemically induced
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / drug therapy
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, Androgen / physiology*
  • Time Factors


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal
  • Receptors, Androgen
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone
  • 9,10-Dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene
  • Flutamide