Development of a mouse model of menopausal ovarian cancer

Elizabeth R. Smith, Ying Wang, Xiang Xi Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite significant understanding of the genetic mutations involved in ovarian epithelial cancer and advances in genomic approaches for expression and mutation profiling of tumor tissues, several key questions in ovarian cancer biology remain enigmatic: the mechanism for the well-established impact of reproductive factors on ovarian cancer risk remains obscure; cell of origin of ovarian cancer continue to be debated; and the precursor lesion, sequence, or events in progression remain to be defined. Suitable mouse models should complement the analysis of human tumor tissues and may provide clues to these questions currently perplexing ovarian cancer biology. A potentially useful model is the germ cell-deficient Wv (white spotting variant) mutant mouse line, which may be used to study the impact of menopausal physiology on the increased risk of ovarian cancer. The Wv mice harbor a point mutation in c-Kit that reduces the receptor tyrosine kinase activity to about 1-5% (it is not a null mutation). Homozygous Wv mutant females have a reduced ovarian germ cell reservoir at birth and the follicles are rapidly depleted upon reaching reproductive maturity, but other biological phenotypes are minimal and the mice have a normal life span. The loss of ovarian function precipitates changes in hormonal and metabolic activity that model features of menopause in humans. As a consequence of follicle depletion, the Wv ovaries develop ovarian tubular adenomas, a benign epithelial tumor corresponding to surface epithelial invaginations and papillomatosis that mark human ovarian aging. Ongoing work will test the possibility of converting the benign epithelial tubular adenomas into neoplastic tumors by addition of an oncogenic mutation, such as of Tp53, to model the genotype and biology of serous ovarian cancer. Model based on the Wv mice may have the potential to gain biological and etiological insights into ovarian cancer development and prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberArticle 36
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Volume4 MAR
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

    Fingerprint

Keywords

  • Epithelium
  • Menopause
  • Mouse models
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Ovarian follicles
  • Pre-malignant lesions
  • Tp53

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

Cite this