Two strains of transplantable rat pituitary tumors, MtT SA5 and MtT SA6, have been established in female nude mice from a single original pituitary tumor which had spontaneously occurred in a female Wistar rat at 759 days of age. MtT SA5 tumor produces prolactin (PRL), growth hormone, and adrenocorticotropic hormone, and MtT SA6 tumor secretes PRL and growth hormone. Additionally, both tumors induce severe nephropathy and promote pathogenicity of murine hepatitis virus, resulting in hepatic necrosis.

Electron micrographs of MtT SA5 and MtT SA6 tumors revealed three and two types of cells, respectively, in reference to secretory granules. The tumors seem to consist of mixed population, each cell secreting each hormone. Since marked adrenal enlargement and relatively low serum corticosterone levels were found in MtT SA5-bearing rats, it is suggested that MtT SA5 tumor secretes adrenocorticotropic hormone and/or its related peptides which induce adrenal hyperplasia with little or no stimulation of corticoid production.

In nude mice bearing MtT SA5 tumor, concentrations of growth hormone in serum and tumor tissue were exceedingly higher than those of PRL, while they were in the same magnitude in MtT SA6-bearing nude mice. We also found that PRL levels in serum and tumor tissue of MtT SA5-bearing nude mice were much higher in males than females, although those of MtT SA5-bearing rats were not significantly different in both sexes.

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Supported in part by Grant-in-aid for Cancer Research from the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture.

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