Cyproterone acetate induces DNA damage in cultured rat hepatocytes and preferentially stimulates DNA synthesis in γ-glutamyltranspeptidase-positive cells

I. Neumann, D. Thierau, U. Andrae, H. Greim, L. R. Schwarz

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68 Scopus citations

Abstract

The synthetic anti-androgen and progestin cyproterone acetate (CPA) is known to increase the liver tumor rate in rats. The tumorigenicity of CPA has been attributed to a tumor-promoting activity of the steroid. In order to discover whether CPA acts directly on preneoplastic liver cells or via indirect effects, we investigated whether CPA stimulates replicative DNA synthesis in vitro in hepatocytes isolated from carcinogen-treated rats (two-thirds hepatectomy, 1×30 mg diethylnitrosamine per kg and 0.1% phenobarbital in the drinking water) and whether the degree of stimulation differs in γ-glutamyltranspeptidase (GGT)-positive, putatively preneoplastic and GGT-negative, 'normal' hepatocytes. The possibility that CPA might also have initiating potential was investigated by studying its effects on DNA repair synthesis. Stimulation of [3H]thymidine incorporation into the DNA by CPA was only observed in the presence of epidermal growth factor (EGF) (10 ng/ml) and insulin (10 mU/ml). Maximal effects were obtained between 2 and 10 μM. DNA synthesis in the presence of EGF/insulin was reduced by the 'pure' anti-androgen flutamide, but stimulated by the 'pure' progestin promegestone. In the presence of CPA, EGF and insulin, the labelling index was twice as high in GGT-positive as in GGT-negative liver cells, regardless of whether mitogens were added at 48 or 72 h. The labelling index did not differ in the GGT-positive and negative hepatocytes when CPA was omitted. These findings are consistent with the idea that CPA has tumor-promoting activity. CPA significantly induced repair synthesis in the isolated hepatocytes from both untreated and carcinogen-treated rats. This increase was detected at a concentration as low as 2 μM and maximal effects were obtained at 20 μM. These results indicate that CPA is not only a tumor-promoting, but also a genotoxic chemical, i.e. that it might also have an initiating potential.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-378
Number of pages6
JournalCarcinogenesis
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1992
Externally publishedYes

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