Measurement of respiration, glycolysis, and levels of soluble pyridine nucleotide-linked dehydrogenases provides the first biochemical characterization of hormone-dependent mammary cancer. The levels of lactic dehydrogenase in mammary cancer induced by 3-methylcholanthrene in rats were correlated, respectively, with progression or regression brought about by appropriate modifications of the hormonal status.

Arranged quantitatively, the dehydrogenases formed individually characteristic patterns in mammary cancer and in normal mammary glands. Malic dehydrogenase (DPN) had the greatest activity in the normal mammary glands; lactic dehydrogenase occupied the first rank in cancer. The level of malic enzyme (TPN) was low in mammary cancer.

Many mammary cancers of ovariectomized rats treated with large doses of estradiol-17β developed a vast accumulation of lipides in the epithelial cells—a newly recognized quality of hormonal responsivity in carcinoma of the breast.

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This study was aided by grants from the Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research, American Cancer Society, Inc., and the United States Public Health Service.

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