Modulation of mammary tumor vascularization by mast cells: Ultrasonographic and histopathological approaches

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The inhibition of mast cells' degranulation may be an approach to prevent the formation of new vessels during the mammary carcinogenesis.

Materials and methods:

Female Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into five experimental groups. Mammary tumors were induced by intraperitoneal injection of N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU). Animals from group II were treated with ketotifen for 18 weeks immediately after the MNU administration, while animals from group III only received the ketotifen after the development of the first mammary tumor. Mammary tumors vascularization was assessed by ultrasonography (Doppler, B Flow and contrast-enhanced ultrasound) and immunohistochemistry (vascular endothelial growth factor-A).

Key findings and significance:

Similar to what occurs in women with breast cancer, the majority of MNU-induced mammary tumors exhibited a centripetal enhancement order of the contrast agent, clear margin and heterogeneous enhancement. Ultrasonographic and immunohistochemical data suggest that the inhibition of mast cells' degranulation did not change the mammary tumors vascularization.

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