Although the human eye is excellent for pattern recognition, it often lacks the sensitivity to detect subtle changes in particle density. Because of this, quantitative evaluation may be required in some studies. A common type of quantitative assessment used for routine toxicology studies is two-dimensional histomorphometry. Although this technique can provide additional information about the tissue section being examined, it does not give information about the tissue as a whole. Furthermore, it produces biased (inaccurate) data that does not take into account the size, shape, or orientation of particles. In contrast, stereology is a technique that utilizes stringent sampling methods to obtain three-dimensional information about the entire tissue that is unbiased. The purpose of this review is to illuminate the sources of bias with two-dimensional morphometry, how it can affect the data, and how that bias is minimized with stereology.
Environmental changes are thought to be the main factor in the rapid increase and worsening of allergic diseases. While there have been significant changes in many environmental factors, including in environments such as residential, health and sanitation, food, and water/soil/atmospheric environments, the root of each of these changes is likely an increase in chemical substances. In fact, various environmental pollutants, such as air pollutants and chemical substances, have been shown to worsen various allergies in experimental studies. For example, diesel exhaust particles (DEPs), which are an agglomeration of particles and a wide array of chemical substances, aggravate asthma, primarily due to the principle organic chemical components of DEPs. In addition, environmental chemicals such as phthalate esters, which are commonly used as plasticizers in plastic products, also aggravate atopic dermatitis. It has also become evident that extremely small nanomaterials and Asian sand dust particles can enhance allergic inflammation. While the underlying mechanisms that cause such aggravation are becoming clearer at the cellular and molecular levels, methods to easily and quickly evaluate (screen) the ever-increasing amount of environmental pollutants for exacerbating effects on allergies are also under development. To eliminate and control allergic diseases, medical measures are necessary, but it is also essential to tackle this issue by ameliorating environmental changes.
The Standard for Exchange of Nonclinical Data (SEND), introduced by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is a scheme for the computerization, electronic application, and screening of preclinical data. Since its establishment, related organizations have been working together to implement SEND. However, it is difficult for individual pharmaceutical companies that often outsource to achieve complete compliance with SEND; hence, the cooperation of contract research organizations (CROs) and SEND Registered Solution Providers (RSPs) is indispensable. In SEND, most data, including those on pathology findings, are converted into controlled terminology (CT), but it is not a simple process to convert findings or levels of severity in the field of pathology, which is a descriptive science. The authors have successfully completed an FDA trial submission for a toxicology test conducted at a CRO and in doing so acquired important knowledge. This article presents a clear picture of such important knowledge from a pathologist’s viewpoint.
Some chemicals are known to be lung carcinogens in rodents. While many studies using two-stage models have administered medium or high doses to mice, few have tested lower doses. The dose dependence of urethane, 4-(N-methyl-N-nitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), and benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P), three well-known lung carcinogens at high doses, has not been sufficiently reported in lower dose ranges. Our study evaluated the tumorigenicity of urethane, NNK, and B[a]P at 26 weeks after a single intraperitoneal administration of each compound within medium to low dose in male and/or female A/JJmsSlc (A/J) mice. Dose-dependent tumorigenesis was demonstrated histopathologically for the three compounds. These results suggested that the tumorigenicity of these chemicals is dose dependent in A/J mice, even at lower doses than previously reported.
Two 4-week repeated-dose toxicity studies were conducted to evaluate the potential toxicity of l-cysteine and d-cysteine. In one study, three groups of 6 male rats were each administered l-cysteine once daily by gavage at doses of 500, 1,000, or 2,000 mg/kg/day for 28 consecutive days. The control group was administered a 0.5% methylcellulose vehicle solution. The other study followed a similar protocol except that the experimental groups received d-cysteine. Toxicological observations showed that the l-cysteine-treated groups exhibited renal injuries such as basophilic tubules with eosinophilic material in the lumen, and there were increased numbers of basophilic tubules in all treated groups. In 1,000 or 2,000 mg/kg/day-treated groups, salivation and necropsy findings indicative of focal erosion in the stomach mucosa were found. Increases in reticulocyte counts were observed in the 2,000 mg/kg/day-treated group. Toxicological findings obtained for the d-cysteine-treated groups included anemia and renal injuries such as basophilic tubules with eosinophilic material in the lumen, increased numbers of basophilic tubules, and crystal deposition in the medulla in the 2,000 mg/kg/day-treated group. Additional findings included sperm granuloma in the epididymis, necropsy findings suggestive of focal erosion in the stomach mucosa, and salivation in the 1,000 or 2,000 mg/kg/day-treated groups. One rat in the 2,000 mg/kg/day-treated group died due to renal failure. In conclusion, the no-observed-adverse-effect levels (NOAELs) were estimated to be less than 500 mg/kg/day for l-cysteine and 500 mg/kg/day for d-cysteine under our study conditions. The toxicological profiles were similar for l-cysteine and d-cysteine; however, there were slight differences in the dose responses. The mechanisms underlying these differences remain to be determined.
An eleven-month old male F344/DuCrj (F344) rat was found dead and had right kidney mass at necropsy. Histopathologically, the mass was composed of nests of neoplastic stellate cells. At the center of the nests, neoplastic epithelial cells formed a tubular structure. In the fibrous connective tissue surrounding the nests, neoplastic cells with striations demonstrable by phosphotungstic acid hematoxylin were observed. Immunohistochemically, neoplastic stellate cells were partially positive for Wilms Tumor 1 and vimentin, and neoplastic cells with striations were partially positive for desmin. We diagnosed this tumor as a nephroblastoma with striated muscle differentiation. To our knowledge, this is the first case of nephroblastoma with apparent striated muscle differentiation in an F344 rat.
Choroid plexus cysts are rare lesions in the brain and are reported in humans and dogs. Herein, we report a choroid plexus cyst found in a 10-week-old female Sprague-Dawley rat. Histologically, a cyst measuring approximately 600 μm in diameter was found in the fourth ventricle of the brain. The cyst was lined with a single layer of flattened cells and was present in the connective tissue of the choroid plexus. Next to the cyst, a dilated tube was found with a similar morphology to the epithelium of the choroid plexus. Immunohistochemistry revealed that flattened cells lining the cyst were positive for cytokeratin and vimentin, and negative for GFAP and S-100, which is the same as in the normal choroid plexus, excluding vimentin. We diagnosed the present cyst as a spontaneously occurring choroid plexus cyst that was considered to be undergoing the epithelial-mesenchymal transition.
An endoscopic examination revealed a mass in the distal esophagus of a 9-year-old intact male bulldog. Histopathologically, the mass was composed of cuboidal to columnar neoplastic epithelial cells and extended from the squamous epithelium of the esophageal mucosa, indicating that the tumor was derived from Barrett’s esophagus. Moreover, highly atypical foci that exhibited a cribriform pattern and high mitotic indices were also observed. The epithelial cells on the surface of the lesion often produced mucus that was positive for Alcian blue and immunohistochemically positive for MUC5AC. The neoplastic epithelial cells were diffusely positive for cytokeratin 7 and p53, and occasionally positive for cytokeratin 20. Based on these findings, the tumor was diagnosed as an adenocarcinoma. This report describes the clinical and pathological features of a spontaneous case of adenocarcinoma of Barrett’s esophagus in a dog.
We report a female Crlj:CD1(ICR) mouse with a spontaneous mammary gland tumor composed of biphasic tumor cells, i.e., epithelioid and spindle-shaped myoepithelial cells. Macroscopically, a subcutaneous mass, approximately 3 cm in diameter was found in the lumbodorsal region. Histopathologically, the epithelioid cells proliferated in an alveolar or nest-like growth pattern, occasionally forming glandular-like structures. On the other hand, the spindle-shaped cells proliferated in a sarcomatous pattern. Normal mammary gland was observed in the vicinity of the tumor. Both types of tumor cells showed immunoreactivity for cytokeratin (wide spectrum screening), vimentin, S100, and p63. In addition, the epithelioid cells and spindle-shaped cells were immunopositive for glial fibrillary acidic protein and smooth muscle actin, respectively. Moderate atypia, high proliferative activity, massive necrosis, and partial infiltration to the surrounding tissues were also observed. We made a diagnosis of myoepithelial carcinoma, which is extremely rare in ICR mice.
The present report describes a case of spontaneous purulent granulomatous pericarditis in a 16-month-old beagle. A gross necropsy revealed pericardial effusion and multiple nodules on the surface of the heart and around the aorta adjacent to the heart. The cut surface of these nodules was solid and white in color, containing partially yellowish white regions. Microscopically, granulomatous inflammation characterized by central necrotic cellular debris surrounded by neutrophils, macrophages, lymphocytes, plasma cells, fibroblasts and collagen fibers was observed in the epicardium. In addition, degeneration or necrosis of the arterial wall with inflammation was observed in the nodules. No gross and histological findings were observed in any organs other than the heart. Bacteria and fungi were not detected by Periodic acid-Schiff staining, Gram-Hucker staining and Ziehl-Neelsen staining. Based on these findings, the dog was diagnosed as having purulent granulomatous pericarditis. Purulent pericarditis is usually caused by pyogenic bacterial or fungus infections; however, no changes indicating a possible infection were observed in this case. In cases with spontaneous vascular changes, such as idiopathic canine polyarteritis or beagle pain syndrome, epicarditis could be secondarily caused by vascular lesions. Since this case showed different pathological features from those of spontaneous vascular changes, the pathogenesis may be different and remains unclear. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report describing purulent pericarditis in beagles. Our case report is expected to be useful information that can be used as cardiac background findings for evaluating heart lesions in preclinical toxicology studies performed in beagles.
Adult male medaka (Oryzias latipes) were exposed to 10 ppm of cadmium for 96 h, and the testes were examined histopathologically. Numerous apoptotic cells were found in the spermatogonia and spermatocytes at 72 and 96 h after initiation of cadmium exposure, and the pyknotic index, TUNEL-positive rate, and cleaved caspase-3-positive rate in the spermatogonia and spermatocytes of the cadmium-treated group were higher compared with the control group. No significant difference between the control and cadmium-treated groups was found in the phospho-histone H3-positive rate in the spermatogonia and spermatocytes. No edematous, hemorrhagic, or necrotic changes were observed within the testes in the cadmium-treated group. These results suggest that spermatogonia and spermatocytes in medaka testes are highly sensitive to cadmium. Exposure to 10 ppm of cadmium induced histopathologic changes in the testes that were similar to those described in rodents exposed to low doses of cadmium.