We investigated the developmental time course of molecular expression of αvβ3 subunits in a carcinogen-induced rat mammary tumor model for human ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). Tumors during various stages of growth (from <0.1 to >2.0 cm) were analyzed immunohistochemically for the expression of the αvβ3 integrin and its subunits. In general, the expression profiles of these integrin subunits were directly proportional to the size of the tumor. The pattern of immunostaining revealed that anti-αvβ3 monoclonal antibody binds to specific sites of tumor sections, forming isolated stained patches. This isolated patch pattern was found in more developed larger tumors. This could be due to the fact that the integrin molecule might be involved in migration and nesting of tumor cells into specific regions to form DCIS or intraductal carcinoma. Results also showed that the αv subunit expresses earlier than the β3 subunit. These data provide insight into tumor cell biology and developmental characteristics that will guide the future construction and use of targeted contrast and therapeutic agents capable of tracking, imaging, or treating a tumor at the earliest stage of formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)496-503
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Investigation
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • Alpha-v beta-3 subunits
  • Breast cancer
  • Expression
  • Integrin
  • Mammary tumors
  • Molecular imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'Expression order of alpha-v and beta-3 integrin subunits in the N-methyl-N-nitrosourea-induced rat mammary tumor model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this