Genetics of chemical carcinogenesis: Analysis of bidirectional selective breeding inducing maximal resistance or maximal susceptibility to 2-stage skin tumorigenesis in the mouse

Anna Saran, Thérèse Neveu, Vincenzo Covelli, Denise Mouton, Simonetta Pazzaglia, Simonetta Rebessi, Gino Doria, Guido Biozzi

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We report on bidirectional selective breeding, initiated from a genetically defined foundation population and carried out to selection limit, for producing lines of mice endowed with maximal resistance (Car-R) or maximal susceptibility (Car-S) to 2-stage skin tumorigenesis. The initial population resulted from a balanced intercrossing of 8 inbred strains of mice. The tumors, induced by a single application of DMBA (initiation) and twice weekly applications of TPA (promotion), were benign papillomas; their number at the end of the promotion period was the phenotype chosen for assortative mating. Afterward, the majority of them regressed while others progressed to malignant carcinomas. The Car-R line was selected through a strong challenge, while the Car-S line selection was based on responses to decreasing concentrations of DMBA and TPA. The selection limit was reached after 14 or 15 generations showing progressive interline divergence, which strongly suggests the interaction of several quantitative trait loci (QTL). The phenotypic difference was extremely large: the tumor response was 73 times higher in Car-S than in Car-R mice, though the applied concentrations of DMBA and TPA were 100 and 40 times lower, respectively. The mean heritability realized during the selective breeding was 0.20 in Car-R and 0.49 in Car-S. Our results are compatible with a minimal QTL estimate of 8 in the Car-R line and of 9 or 10 in the Car-S line. The Car-S line is also much more susceptible to carcinoma induction. An association of coat color with tumorigenesis was observed in interline F2 segregants. The Car-R and Car-S lines, obtained through a long-lasting breeding program, are a unique model for identifying the QTL involved in chemical tumorigenesis and will be provided to interested investigators. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)424 - 431
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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