High incidence of mammary tumors in mice with inherited asplenia carriers for the nude gene

Blsmarck B. Lozzio, Patricia Coulson, Stephen V. Lair, Diana M. Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A colony of mice suffering from dominant hemimelia associated with agenesis of the spleen has been developed and characterized during the past 7 years. The hereditarily asplenic (Dh/+) mice have a very low incidence (9%) of spontaneous mammary tumors (SMT). Asplenic (Dh/+) females were mated with mice homozygous (nu/nu) for hereditary athymia (nude) having a BALB/c background. BALB/c females heterozygous for the nu gene and with spleen (nu/+, +/+) have a moderate incidence (12%) SMT, whereas nu/+, Dh/+ breeders have a drastic increase in the incidence of SMT to 46% when bred under identical conditions. Since all parent strains have a very low incidence of SMT, it appears that the spleen agenesis is a major factor accounting for an earlier and higher incidence of SMT in hereditarily asplenic (nu/+, Dh/+) mice than in normal (nu/t, +/+)sibilings. The SMT express mammary tumor virus antigen(s) and possess estrogen, progesterone, and glucocorticoid receptors. The SMT rapidly metastasize and kill the host within 30 to 45 days. The BALB/c asplenic mice with SMT represent a unique model relevant to human breast cancer and for study of the function of the spleen in the development of solid tumors in general and of SMT in particular.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1529-1533
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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