Tumors of the adrenal cortex of castrate male Bagg albino mice secreted androgenic hormone, as evidenced by the histology of the seminal vesicles, submaxillary glands, and renal corpuscles. Similar spontaneous tumors were present in non-castrate males of this stock 2 years of age.
The tumors induced by ovariectomy in Bagg albino female mice produced as the dominant secretion either estrogen or androgen as judged by the microscopic appearance of the female reproductive tract, submaxillary glands, transplanted seminal vesicles, and renal corpuscles. Extensive cortical hyperplasia and/or adenomas appeared in intact females 2 years of age.
Secretion of relatively large amounts of androgen by cortical tumors may be a strain-limited character. All of 57 castrated males of the NH stock possessed atrophic seminal vesicles, although all had adrenal tumors. Ovariectomized NH females gave evidence of only estrogenic secretion. In the CBA and C3H stocks cortical tumors of ovariectomized females exhibited mixed secretory activity, resulting in masculinization of the dimorphic glands and maintenance of grafted seminal vesicles, but cornification of the vagina. Ovariectomized Strong A female mice bearing cortical adenomas had masculinized submaxillary glands and atrophic reproductive tracts.
Although tumors of the adrenal cortex can be induced in certain stocks of mice by gonadectomy, and spontaneous cortical tumors appear at a time of declining gonadal endocrine activity, it appears that complete withdrawal of gonadal endocrine secretion is not essential for the appearance of adrenal cortical adenomas of mice.
The histology of the submaxillary gland of the mouse is a sensitive index of androgenic secretion. It is a better indicator than renal histology or maintenance of seminal vesicles. Progesterone does not duplicate the androgenic effect, and estrogenic secretion does not alter the structure of the submaxillary gland of the castrate mouse.
Ceroid pigment deposits are associated with the genesis of tumors of the adrenal cortex, testis, and ovary of mice.
The Bagg albino stock of mice is very susceptible to the induction of tumors of the steroid hormone secreting glands—adrenal cortex, testis, ovary.
This investigation has been aided by grants from The National Cancer Institute, The Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research, and the Cancer Fund of the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota.