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Mol Carcinog. 1994 Jan;9(1):10-6.

Transforming growth factor-beta 1 expression in Syrian hamster cheek pouch carcinogenesis.

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University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Science Park-Research Division, Smithville 78957.


The expression pattern of transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-beta 1) during the stages of complete carcinogenesis in the hamster cheek pouch model was studied. The right cheek pouches of 18 male hamsters were treated with 0.5%, 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) for 16 wk. TGF-beta 1 was detected immunohistochemically in the resulting samples with two different polyclonal monospecific antibodies that recognize intracellular and extracellular forms of TGF-beta 1. In the normal cheek pouch, extracellular protein stained the corium strongly, but the reaction was not evenly distributed. As treatment progressed, the reaction increased in both area and intensity; the peak was reached at 8 wk. Intracellular TGF-beta 1 expression followed a similar pattern, with a peak at 4 wk of treatment. The results of northern blot analysis were concordant with the immunohistochemical results. Overexpression of TGF-beta 1 was also observed in the malignant tumors, but only the extracellular form of the protein was present; intracellular TGF-beta 1 was not detected in these tumors. The expression of TGF-beta 1 in this carcinogenesis model seems to have two formal stages, the first being an overexpression step as a reaction to the uncontrolled growth and the second being one in which tumors have no internal expression of TGF-beta 1 but in which external protein accumulates in the surrounding stroma. A possible explanation of this paradox may be that TGF-beta 1 has functions other than its growth-repressing activity.

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