Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Social isolation, stress-induced obesity increases breast cancer risk in mice

Date:
April 4, 2011
Source:
Georgetown University Medical Center
Summary:
Stress from social isolation, combined with a high-fat diet, increases levels of a brain neurotransmitter -- neuropeptide Y, or NPY -- in mice that then promotes obesity, insulin resistance, and breast cancer risk, say researchers.

Stress from social isolation, combined with a high-fat diet, increases levels of a brain neurotransmitter -- neuropeptide Y, or NPY -- in mice that then promotes obesity, insulin resistance, and breast cancer risk, say researchers at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, a part of Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC).

Related Articles


Major increases in NPY levels are seen when isolation and the high fat diet are combined. Still, the mice that were isolated for two weeks and fed a control diet had elevated NPY levels and increased terminal end buds, a structure in the mammary gland where mammary cancers form.

The researchers say their findings, reported at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 102nd Annual Meeting 2011 in Orlando, Florida, appear to link a number of findings in humans, such as the fact that social isolation is associated with an increased risk of cancer development and mortality, and that obesity is a risk factor for breast cancer."

"We suspect that NPY may play a role in development of human breast cancer, but we have no evidence for such a connection because no human studies have yet been done," says the study's lead investigator, Allison Sumis, a Ph.D. student in the Tumor Biology program.

"We do know that NPY has been shown to increase growth of human breast cancer cells in the laboratory," she says. Sumis works with Leena Hilakivi-Clarke, Ph.D., Co-Director of the Division of Molecular Endocrinology, Nutrition and Obesity at GUMC, who is the study's senior investigator.

To conduct the study, the researchers used female mice that develop breast cancer when given progesterone and a carcinogen. They established four groups of these mice: one group that lived together (not socially isolated) and ate a normal diet; a group that was isolated (each alone in a cage) and ate normally; an isolated group that ate a high-fat diet, and a group that lived together and ate a high-fat diet.

Ten weeks after treatment and living in these environments (for a total of 17 weeks), 92 percent of the socially-isolated mice fed a high-fat diet had developed tumors, compared to 36 percent of socially-isolated mice fed a normal diet and 36 percent of grouped mice that were also fed normally. But 67 percent of mice who were happy in group homes, but were fed a high fat diet, developed breast cancer.

Sumis adds that the tumors that developed in the high-fat, socially isolated mice appeared earlier and were larger than in the other groups.

"We have yet to translate these findings to humans, but it does suggest that social isolation is a potent stressor and initiates a robust central nervous system response," she says. "Others have found that a majority of women gain weight after a diagnosis of breast cancer, and it seems likely that stress, even if it is not from social isolation, may play a role."

The study was funded by the National Cancer Institute. The authors report having no personal financial interests related to the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Georgetown University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Georgetown University Medical Center. "Social isolation, stress-induced obesity increases breast cancer risk in mice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110404131453.htm>.
Georgetown University Medical Center. (2011, April 4). Social isolation, stress-induced obesity increases breast cancer risk in mice. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110404131453.htm
Georgetown University Medical Center. "Social isolation, stress-induced obesity increases breast cancer risk in mice." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110404131453.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Google X wants to improve modern medicine with nanoparticles and a wearable device. It's all an attempt to tackle disease detection and prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins