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Disease models

Pituitary ablation of estrogen receptor expression as a mouse model for ovarian cancer

A genetic mouse model for estrogen-dependent ovarian cancer could be used to study disease progression and evaluate therapeutic candidates. In the mice, progesterone receptor-driven Cre recombinase was used to knock out estrogen receptor expression in the anterior pituitary. The resulting mice showed disruption of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian hormonal axis, elevated estrogen production in ovaries, emergence of ovarian tumors and oncogenic transformation of ovarian surface epithelial cells. In the ovarian tumor-bearing mice, treatment with the aromatase inhibitor letrozole over 3 months decreased tumor volume by 60% compared with a sham treatment. Next steps could include using the model to study drug interactions.

SciBX 7(14); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.413
Published online April 10, 2014

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Laws, M.J. et al. PLoS Genet.; published online March 6, 2014;
Contact: Indrani C. Bagchi, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Ill.
Contact: Milan K. Bagchi, same affiliation as above