Kortikosteron hemmt die Zellproliferation in der Leber adulter Ratten und synchronisiert die Teilung der Leberzellen nach partieller Hepatektomie. Kortikosteron kann zumindest vorübergehend aus dem Kreislauf durch Adrenalektomie entfernt werden oder durch Progesteron mit-tels kompetitiver Hemmung seines zytoplasmatischen Rezeptors in der Leberzelle inaktiviert werden. Die Folge davon ist eine erhöhte zelluläre Proliferation. Es wurde untersucht, inwieweit diese Situation die Entwicklung von chemisch induzierten Lebertumoren beeinflußt. Tiere, die gleichzeitig mit Diäthylnitrosamin und proliferationsstimulierenden Steroiden aus der Gruppe der Gestagene, Androgene oder Östrogene behandelt wurden, starben signifikant früher an Hepatomen. Es kann daher eine tumorpromovierende Wirkung dieser Substanzen angenommen werden.

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