Spontaneous pituitary tumorigenesis and plasma oestradiol in ageing female C57BL/6J mice

Lêda S. Felicio, James F. Nelson, Caleb E. Finch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Macroscopic pituitary tumours occur with increasing frequency in ageing female C57BL/6J mice. Tumour incidence rises steadily between 14 and 30 months from 6 to 61%. Two stepwise increments in pituitary weight, indicative of hyperplasia, occur prior to the appearance of tumours. The first, at 5 months, coincides with the onset of regular estrous cyclicity, and hence maximal exposure to plasma oestradiol (E2). Average plasma E2 concentration in cycling mice is 15.4 pg/ml ± 1.73 SE. The second increment, at 14 months, coincides with the first appearance of tumours and with the onset of cycle irregularity, which is characterized by persistent vaginal cornification and a 50% reduction in exposure to E2. Although exogenous E2 can induce pituitary tumours, its reduced concentration during the initial phase of tumorigenesis suggests that altered sensitivity or other factors are involved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-143
Number of pages5
JournalExperimental Gerontology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Aging
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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