While an understanding of the structure and function of a generically described immune system is essential in contemporary biomedicine, it is clear that a one-size-fits-all approach applied across multiple species is fraught with contradictions and inconsistencies. Nevertheless, the breakthroughs achieved in immunology following the application of observations in murine systems to that of man have been pivotal in the advancement of biology and human medicine. However, as additional species have been used to further address biologic and safety assessment questions relative to the structure and function of the immune system, it has become clear that there are differences across species, gender, age and strain that must be considered. The meaningfulness of these differences must be determined on a case-by-case basis. This review article attempts to collect, consolidate and discuss some of these species differences thereby aiding in the accurate placement of new observations in a proper immunobiological and immunopathological perspective.
Nonclinical juvenile animal tests perform a valuable role in determining adverse drug effects during periods of organogenesis and/or functional maturation. Developmental anatomic and functional maturation time points are important to consider between juveniles and adults when regarding different organ toxicities in response to drug administration. The kidney is an example of a major organ that has differences in these time points in comparing juveniles to adults and in contrasting humans to laboratory animal species. Toxicologic pathologists, involved in juvenile studies, need to be aware of these time points which are age-related exposure periods of sensitivity to drug toxicity. Age-related developmental anatomic and functional maturation are factors which can affect the way that a drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted (ADME). Changes to any component of ADME may alter drug toxicity resulting in kidney abnormalities, nephrotoxicity, or maturational disorders. Juvenile animal kidneys may either be less resistant or more resistant to known adult nephrotoxic drug effects. Furthermore, drug toxicity observed in juvenile animal kidneys may not always correspond to similar toxicities in humans. Juvenile animal nonclinical toxicology studies targeting the kidneys have to be carefully planned to attain the maximum knowledge from each study.
Several cationic-amphiphilic drugs such as chloroquine and amiodarone are known to induce phospholipidosis in the cornea by systemic administration. However, the characteristics of ophthalmological and pathological changes when phospholipidosis-inducing drugs are topically applied have not been well studied. This study was conducted to investigate the characteristics of corneal changes caused by topical application of chloroquine and amiodarone to Japanese white rabbits. The changes were evaluated by ophthalmological, histopathological, and ultrastructural examinations. An in vivo confocal microscopy was also applied to the chloroquine-treated corneas. In both chloroquine- and amiodarone-treated corneas, diffuse cloudiness was observed by slit-lamp biomicroscopy, and its transparency increased with duration of dosing. Confocal microscopy showed punctate dots in the corneal epithelium. Histopathologically, cytoplasmic vacuolation was found in the corneal epithelium and keratocytes in both chloroquine- and amiodarone-treated eyes. Furthermore, foamy cytoplasm of the corneal endothelium was observed in the chloroquine-treated eyes. Ultrastructural examination showed multi-lamellar inclusion bodies or membrane-like debris in the lysosome-like vacuoles in the cytoplasm of corneal cells, which is a characteristic of the lesions of phospholipidosis. These changes disappeared after a withdrawal period. Continuous dosing of chloroquine resulted in corneal erosion and focal corneal opacity as shown by gross observation and slit-lamp biomicroscopy. Confocal microscopy could detect the corneal changes prior to the appearance of these ophthalmological changes. The present study showed that phospholipidosis caused by ocular administration of chloroquine and amiodarone first induces reversible diffuse corneal cloudiness. Confocal microscopy is a useful method for monitoring induction of corneal phospholipidosis.
Mammary cancer is the most common type of cancer and the fifth most common cause of cancer-related deaths among Japanese women. The recent sharp increase in the number of women diagnosed with mammary cancer per year is thought to be associated with increased fat intake resulting from changes in the dietary habits of contemporary Japanese citizens. In this study, human c-Ha-ras proto-oncogene transgenic (Hras128) rats, which are highly susceptible to mammary carcinogens, were fed high- or low-fat diets to examine the relationship between fat consumption and the development of mammary cancer. Female 7-week-old Hras128 rats and wild-type littermates were administered benzo[a]pyrene. A week later, the animals were randomly assigned to high-fat or low-fat diet groups (45% or 10% of calories from fat, respectively). After 12 weeks, the rats were sacrificed and autopsied, and mammary tumors were excised and processed for microscopic observation. Mammary tumors were found in 11 of the 12 animals in the high-fat diet group and in 5 of the 12 animals in the low-fat diet group, and the numbers of mammary gland tumors per animal in these groups were 1.7 and 0.7, respectively. Notably, the observed differences in incidence and multiplicity of mammary tumors between the two groups were statistically significant. These results suggest a positive relationship between the incidence of breast cancer and high fat intake.
Surfactant proteins (SPs) are essential to respiratory structure and function. The expectorant drug ambroxol hydrochloride is clinically prescribed to stimulate pulmonary surfactant and airway serous secretion. Therefore, ambroxol hydrochloride may affect SP production and pulmonary inflammation. Lung toxicity of fine particles of various materials has been examined previously in our in vivo bioassay using the intratracheal (i.t.) instillation approach. In the present study, we evaluated modulatory effects of ambroxol hydrochloride on quartz-induced lung inflammation in F344 rats. Male 6-week-old F344 rats were exposed by i.t. instillation to 2 mg of quartz particles suspended in 0.2 mL of saline. Ambroxol hydrochloride was administered at 0, 12, and 120 ppm in rat basal diet for 28 days, and then formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded lung, liver, and kidney samples were prepared. No changes in general condition, body and organ weights, or food consumption upon exposure to quartz were noted. The mean ambroxol intake in rats of the 12 ppm group was comparable to the human conventional dose. Histopathology of lung lesions was evaluated, and the degree of inflammation was scored. At 120 ppm, ambroxol hydrochloride significantly decreased individual lung inflammation scores for pulmonary edema and lymph follicle proliferation around the bronchiole, as well as the total inflammation score, in quartz-treated rats. Expression of SP-C in the type II alveolar cells and macrophages was greater in inflammatory lesions than in non-inflamed areas. Ambroxol treatment did not affect expression of SP-B and SP-C. In conclusion, we demonstrated that ambroxol hydrochloride relieves quartz-induced lung inflammation.
When conducting vaginal irritation studies, ovariectomized rats or rabbits are typically used according to practical reports. In the present study, we evaluated the influence of the estrus cycle in a vaginal irritation study using intact rats and ovariectomized rats, which exhibit a late diestrus-like condition, to determine whether intact rats can be useful for evaluating vaginal irritancy. Rats were divided into 4 groups: proestrus, estrus, and metestrus or diestrus in intact rats and ovariectomized rats. All the rats in each group were treated with a vehicle or sodium dodecyl sulfate, as the irritant, in single-dose and 4-day repeat-dose vaginal irritation studies. Each rat’s vagina was examined histopathologically, and the irritation score was calculated using a semiquantitative scoring system. In the single-dose study, the irritation scores for the proestrus or ovariectomized groups treated with sodium dodecyl sulfate were higher than those of the estrus group or metestrus or diestrus group. In the 4-day repeat-dose study, a significant histopathological difference was not found among the intact rats (proestrus, estrus, and metestrus or diestrus groups), and the irritation score range of the intact rats was similar to that of the ovariectomized rats, though the mean score of the intact rats was slightly lower than that of the ovariectomized rats. These results suggest that intact rats might be well suited for 4-day vaginal irritation studies and useful for evaluating vaginal irritancy using not only the mean score, but also individual irritation score ranges, whereas the estrus cycle would need to be identified in single-dose vaginal irritation studies.
Spontaneous nephroblastoma is an uncommon tumor in laboratory rabbits. We recently encountered this tumor, and we describe its histological characteristics in this report. A male 3-year-old Japanese White rabbit (JW/kbs), maintained as a stock animal, suddenly showed poor condition and was found dead a few days later. At necropsy, a large mass was found that extended from one side of the renal pelvis. The cut surface of the mass was dark red in color and velvety to the touch. The kidney on the contralateral side was normal. Microscopically, the tumor mass consisted of biphasic components, which consisted of epithelial (tubular and glomerular) and blastemal (nodular) elements. No sarcomatous proliferation was observed. In addition, some of the tubules were lined by cells with a large amount of eosinophilic cytoplasm. The cells were confirmed as oncocytes by immunohistochemical and electron microscopic examinations. The present case was therefore diagnosed as a nephroblastoma with oncocytic differentiation.
The purpose of this study was to define the histopathological characteristics of pulmonary neoplastic lesions, especially focusing on the origin of tumor cells, in urethane-treated Tg rasH2 mice. Bronchiolar-alveolar adenomas/adenocarcinomas were observed in the lungs from all of the urethane-treated animals. Immunohistochemically, these tumors showed an alveolar epithelial type II (AE2) cell phenotype demonstrating positive staining of surfactant protein C (SP-C). Cells expressing Clara cell 10 (CC10), a Clara cell marker, were also observed in a scattered manner in some tumors. Several SP-C and CC10 double-positive cells were observed in these tumors. Most of the urethane-induced pulmonary tumors were considered to have an AE2 cell phenotype, but the presence of SP-C and CC10 double positive cells in the tumors of Tg rasH2 mice suggests that some tumors arose from bronchioalveolar stem cells, which are known to express both SP-C and CC10.
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