In the long-term safety testing of chemicals for carcinogenicity the toxicologist needs to be aware of a number of scenarios where renal tubule tumors, or their precursors, arise that are not due to a carcinogenic action of the test article. Situations producing false positive results in the kidney include exacerbation of chronic progressive nephropathy (CPN) in rats, confusion of atypical tubule hyperplasia (the obligate precursor of renal tubule tumor) with foci of benign CPN-related renal tubule cell proliferation, inclusion of spontaneous tumor entities, such as the amphophilic-vacuolar tumor, in the test article tumor count, the possibility of a link between spontaneous forms of tubule dilatation and renal tubule tumor formation in mice, and the supposed predictivity of chemically-induced karyomegaly for renal carcinogenicity in both rats and mice. Examples of these misleading situations are described and discussed.
The corpora lutea (CL) are endocrine glands that form in the ovary after ovulation and secrete the steroid hormone, progesterone (P4). P4 plays a critical role in estrous and menstrual cycles, implantation, and pregnancy. The incomplete rodent estrous cycle stably lasts 4–5 days and its morphological features can be distinguished during each estrous cycle stage. In rat ovaries, there are two main types of CL: newly formed ones due to the current ovulation (new CL), and CL remaining from prior estrous cycles (old CL). In the luteal regression process, CL were almost fully regressed after four estrous cycles in Sprague-Dawley rats. P4 secretion from CL in rodents is regulated by the balance between synthesis and catabolism. In general, luteal toxicity should be evaluated by considering antemortem and postmortem data. Daily vaginal smear observations provided useful information on luteal toxicity. In histopathological examinations, not only the ovaries and CL but also other related tissues and organs including the uterus, vagina, mammary gland, and adrenal glands, must be carefully examined for exploring luteal changes. In this review, histological and functional characteristics of CL in rats are summarized, and representative luteal toxicity changes are presented for improved luteal toxicity evaluation in preclinical toxicity research.
The rasH2 mouse was developed as a model for carcinogenicity studies in regulatory science. Its phenotype is stable during high-volume production and over successive generations. To produce rasH2 mice, three strains of mice (C57BL/6J-TgrasH2, C57BL/6J, and BALB/cByJ) were maintained individually. Since the homozygous c-HRAS genotype is lethal, hemizygous transgenic mice were maintained by crossing with inbred C57BL/6J mice. After breeding, male B6-transgenic mice were mated with female BALB/cByJ mice to obtain transgenic mice. Pups that were rasH2-Tg (tg/wt) or rasH2-Wt (wt/wt) were confirmed by genotyping. Frozen embryos were preserved by the Central Institute for Experimental Animals (CIEA) and sent to two facilities, CLEA Japan and Taconic Biosciences, where the mice were produced. Production colonies are created in both facilities and supplied to customers worldwide. To prevent genetic drift, the colonies were renewed for up to 10 generations, and renewals were carried out four times every five years from 2005 to 2021. To ensure the uniformity and maintenance of the phenotype of rasH2 mice, the carcinogen susceptibilities were monitored in every renewal of colonies by CIEA based on a standard protocol of the short-term carcinogenicity study using the positive control compound N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU). Furthermore, simple carcinogenicity monitoring targeting the forestomach, the organ most sensitive to MNU, was performed approximately once a year. Based on the optimally designed production and monitoring systems, the quality of rasH2 mice with reproducibility and stability of carcinogenicity is maintained and supplied globally.
Lymphoma is the third most common cancer diagnosed in children, and T-cell lymphoma has the worst prognosis based on clinical observations. To date, a lymphoma model with uniform penetrance has not yet been developed. In this study, we generated a p53 deficient mouse model by targeting embryonic stem cells derived from a C57BL/6J mouse strain. Homozygous p53 deficient mice exhibited a higher rate of spontaneous tumorigenesis, with a high spontaneous occurrence rate (93.3%) of malignant lymphoma. Because tumor models with high phenotypic consistency are currently needed, we generated a lymphoma model by a single intraperitoneal injection of 37.5 or 75 mg/kg N-methyl-N-nitrosourea to p53 deficient mice. Lymphoma and retinal degeneration occurred in 100% of p53+/− mice administered with higher concentrations of N-methyl-N-nitrosourea, a much greater response than those of previously reported models. The main anatomic sites of lymphoma were the thymus, spleen, bone marrow, and lymph nodes. Both induced and spontaneous lymphomas in the thymus and spleen stained positive for CD3 antigen, and flow cytometry detected positive CD4 and/or CD8 cells. Based on our observations and previous data, we hypothesize that mice with a B6 background are prone to lymphomagenesis.
We investigated the morphological effects of testosterone on placental development in a rat model of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Testosterone propionate (TP), which was subcutaneously administered to pregnant rats with 5 mg/animal from gestation day (GD) 14 to GD 18, induced a maternal weight reduction without mortality or clinical signs from GD 19 onwards. A decrease in fetal and placental weight, an increase in intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) rates, and histological changes in the placenta were observed on GD 21 but not on GD15 or 17. Histopathologically, on GD 21, the trophoblast septa thickened, and the maternal sinusoids were narrowed in the labyrinth zone, resulting in a small placenta. Additionally, the placental weight, thickness, and histological morphology in the labyrinth zone on GD 21 in the TP-treated group were nearly identical to those on GD 17 in the control and TP-treated groups. Therefore, it was assumed that the testosterone-induced small placenta was induced in association with the developmental inhibition of the fetal part of the placentas from GD 17 onwards.
Platycodi radix is widely used in traditional herbal medicine for the treatment of bronchitis, asthma, pulmonary tuberculosis, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes. This study aimed to investigate cell proliferation (Ki-67) and apoptosis (Caspase-3) potential in squamous cell hyperplasia of the stomach induced by a Platycodi radix water extract in a subchronic toxicity study. One hundred formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded stomach tissues of rats treated with Platycodi radix at doses of 0, 500, 1,000, and 3,000 mg/kg body weight/day were used for the analysis. They were conventionally stained using hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and immunohistochemically (IHC) stained using caspase-3 and Ki-67 antibodies. The incidence of squamous cell hyperplasia was significantly increased in the 3,000 mg/kg b.w./day treatment group in both sexes (p<0.01). However, the hyperplastic change was completely repaired after 4 weeks of recovery period. Ki-67 expression was similar in all groups, with no statistically significant differences among the groups. Caspase-3 expression was significantly increased in both sexes in the 3,000 mg/kg b.w./day treatment group (p<0.01), compared with the vehicle control groups, and then reduced to normal levels in the recovery groups in both sexes. In conclusion, this study showed that squamous cell hyperplasia induced by the Platycodi radix water extract in the limiting ridge of the stomach is not considered to be abnormal proliferative change; as a result, squamous cell hyperplasia is considered to be a non-adverse effect when induced by the oral administration of the Platycodi radix water extract once daily for 13 weeks in rats.
The pharmacokinetic endpoint of a 25-fold increase in human exposure is one of the specified criteria for high-dose selection for 2-year carcinogenicity studies in rodents according to ICH S1C(R2). However, this criterion is not universally accepted for 6-month carcinogenicity tests in rasH2-Tg mice. To evaluate an appropriate multiple for rasH2-Tg mice, we evaluated data for 53 compounds across five categories of rasH2-Tg mouse-positive [(1) genotoxic and (2) non-genotoxic] carcinogens and rasH2-Tg mouse-negative [(3) non-genotoxic carcinogens with clear or uncertain human relevance; (4) non-genotoxic rodent-specific carcinogens; and (5) non-carcinogens], and surveyed their tumorigenic activities and high doses in rasH2-Tg mice and 2-year rodent models. Our survey indicated that area under the curve (AUC) margins (AMs) or body surface area-adjusted dose ratios (DRs) of tumorigenesis in rasH2-Tg mice to the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) were 0.05- to 5.2-fold in 6 category (1) compounds with small differences between models and 0.2- to 47-fold in 7 category (2) including three 2-year rat study-negative compounds. Among all 53 compounds, including 40 compounds of the rasH2-Tg mouse-negative category (3), (4), and (5), no histopathologic risk factors for rodent neoplasia were induced only at doses above 50-fold AM or DR in rasH2-Tg mice except for two compounds, which induced hyperplasia and had no relationship with the tumors observed in the rasH2-Tg mouse or 2-year rodent studies. From the results of these surveys, we confirmed that exceeding a high dose level of 50-fold AM in rasH2-Tg mouse carcinogenicity studies does not appear to be of value.
In the present study, we investigated the potential of nitrite exposure to induce infertility in mice. Adult female C57BL/6J mice were randomly divided into control and nitrite exposure groups. Subsequently, the rate of mouse infertility was calculated, and pathological changes in ovarian tissues were examined using hematoxylin and eosin staining. In addition, TUNEL staining, immunofluorescent labeling, and western blotting were performed to assess cell apoptosis and oxidative stress response in ovarian tissues from various groups. We observed that nitrite exposure could induce infertility (p<0.05) in mice. High-dose nitrite exposure caused infertility in a time-dependent manner, and two-round exposure induced higher infertility than that one-round exposure (p<0.01). In addition, a higher number of atretic follicles were detected in the ovaries of nitrite-exposed groups than in the control group. Furthermore, TUNEL-positive cells were observed in granulosa cells of atretic follicles, and overexpression of caspase 8, c-Fos, and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) was detected in ovaries after nitrite exposure (p<0.01), suggesting that cell apoptosis and oxidative stress response were induced following nitrite exposure. Collectively, these findings suggest that nitrite exposure can induce mouse infertility in a time-dependent manner. Oxidative stress response and cell apoptosis are involved in mediating nitrite-induced infertility.
A Chihuahua dog showed persistent itching in the right ear canal. Anti-inflammatory medicines and prednisolone were ineffective and total ear canal ablation was performed. Histological diagnosis was chronic otitis externa. Eosinophilic intranuclear inclusion bodies (Cowdry type A and full-type) were occasionally observed in the ceruminous gland epithelium. The inclusion bodies were negative for nucleic acid and ultrastructurally composed of fibrous structures (approximately 10 nm in width). Viral infection was initially suspected, but polymelase chain reaction tests did not detect the expected viral genes. Immunohistochemistry revealed that the inclusion bodies were positive for heat shock protein 70 (HSP70), suggesting that these bodies could be protein aggregates including HSP70. The etiology of this lesion has not been elucidated, but chronic inflammation may influence the cytoplasm-to-nuclear transportation of HSP70. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of canine chronic otitis externa with HSP70-positive intranuclear inclusion bodies.
Spontaneous hemangiosarcoma in young rats is rare. In this report, we describe a case of a spontaneous hemangiosarcoma in the spleen and liver of young rats. At necropsy, multiple pale red masses were observed in the spleen. Histopathologically, solid growth and haphazardly arranged neoplastic cells were observed, although no characteristic growth pattern was observed. In contrast, irregularly sized small slit-shaped spaces containing erythrocytes were found among the neoplastic cells. Reticular fibers incompletely surrounding the neoplastic cells were observed by silver staining. Immunohistochemistry revealed that the neoplastic cells were positive for vWF and CD34. Electron microscopic examination revealed that the neoplastic cells had erythrocytes in the lumen and Weibel-Palade bodies in the cytoplasm and were arranged along a discontinuous basal lamina. These features indicate that the tumor originated from vascular endothelial cells. Based on these results, the tumor was diagnosed as a hemangiosarcoma in the spleen and liver.
Although spontaneous development of seminoma is rare in medaka, we encountered spontaneous testicular tumors located within the abdominal cavity in two adult medakas. The growth patterns of the tumors were a combination of solid and cord arrangements in one of the two cases (Case I) and lobular in the other case (Case II). The tumor cells resembled the cells at different stages of spermatogenesis, and a small number of oocyte-like cells were also scattered within the tumor. The tumor with solid and cord patterns showed loss of normal testicular architecture, and the tumor cells had partly invaded the dorsal muscular tissue and metastasized to the liver, kidney, and eye. The tumor with a lobular pattern did not exhibit local invasion or metastasis. The tumors were diagnosed as seminomas based on their histopathological characteristics, and the tumor in Case I was observed to be more malignant than that in Case II.
This case report describes a case of spontaneous pancreatic islet cell carcinoma with vascular invasion in a 110-week-old male F344 rat. Histologically, a pancreatic nodule consisting of tumor cells and many blood-rich vessels, and covered with a fibrous capsule showed local invasion in the capsule and adjacent acinar tissues, encircling a large duct-like structure (DS). The tumor was composed of well-differentiated tumor cells resembling normal pancreatic islet cells, which had small round nuclei and eosinophilic cytoplasm. Mitotic figures were rare. Immunohistochemistry revealed that the tumor cells were positive for insulin. Although endothelial cells were not detected, the DS wall showed cells positive for α-smooth muscle actin and elastic fibers, suggesting that the DS is the pancreatic artery. This is a rare case of islet cell carcinoma consisting of well-differentiated tumor cells with invasion of the pancreatic artery in a rat.
Pemphigus is an autoimmune blistering disease characterized by lesions on the skin and mucous membranes. To date, no spontaneous cases of this disease have been reported in cynomolgus monkeys. This report describes the histopathological characteristics of spontaneous pemphigus in a cynomolgus monkey. Macroscopically, redness and scaling with pruritus were observed on the skin of the entire body. Histopathologically, the epidermis showed intercellular edema, and eosinophils and mononuclear cells infiltrated the epidermis. There was no obvious acantholysis in the epidermis. The perivascular area showed edema, and eosinophils and mononuclear cells infiltrated the vessels in the dermis. Immunohistochemically, the intercellular area in the epidermis was positive for Immunoglobulin G and Complement component 3. Serologically, anti-desmoglein 1 and desmoglein 3 antibodies in the serum were negative. From these findings, this case was diagnosed as an autoimmune skin disease, suspected to be pemphigus, and concluded as lesions being similar to those in human “pemphigus herpetiformis”.
A female TOYO beagle dog showed porencephaly and visual organ abnormalities. At necropsy, there was a cavity filled with cerebrospinal fluid in the right cerebral hemisphere and an adhesion area between the cerebral cortex and the skull, which was partially thickened. Additionally, the right optic nerve showed a slight decrease in diameter. Histopathological examination revealed increased glial fibers and collagen fibers, hemosiderin deposition, and an increased number of microglia in the adhesion area, along with a marked reduction of the cerebral parenchyma. In the right eyeball, the retina and optic nerve showed focal atrophy in the nerve fiber layer and inner granular layer to full retinal atrophy and hypoplasia of the myelinated nerve fibers, respectively. Electron microscopic examination revealed hypoplasia of the myelin sheath of nerve fibers in the right optic nerve. This is an extremely rare case of porencephaly and congenital optic nerve hypoplasia, along with independent retinal thinning.
Lipomatosis of lymph nodes is defined as the replacement of the lymphatic parenchyma by adipose tissue which grows in the node from the hilus toward the cortical zone. In humans, it is considered as part of the normal aging process and is common in obese patients, but there are no reports in non-human primates. In this report, we describe the first case of lymph node lipomatosis in the bilateral axillary lymph nodes of a young adult cynomolgus monkey. Macroscopically, there were no apparent abnormalities in the axillary lymph nodes on either side, and their volumes were unchanged. At the cut surface, pale yellow fat-like tissue was observed in the medullary area. Histopathologically, well differentiated adipocytes replaced a large part of the lymphatic parenchyma in the area from the hilus to the medulla without any malignant findings. Based on these findings, the patient was diagnosed with lipomatosis of the lymph nodes.
This report describes a case of spontaneous malignant pinealoma in a 90-week-old male Wistar rat. The tumor mass occurred in the deep cerebral parenchyma and no intact pineal gland was observed in the area between the posterior-dorsal median line of the cerebrum and the cerebellum. The tumor was characterized by a large nodular proliferation occupying the central area of the brain, extending from the dorsal surface to the base of the brain, corresponding to the thalamus. The tumor cells had round to irregular oblong nuclei approximately 5–17 μm in diameter and showed faintly or moderately eosinophilic cytoplasm and indistinct cell boundaries. Immunohistochemically, the tumor cells were positive for synaptophysin and partially positive for neuron-specific enolase (NSE). The tumor showed malignant features including cellular pleomorphism, high mitotic index, necrotic foci, and invasive and extensive growth and was, therefore, diagnosed as an extremely rare malignant pinealoma in the deep cerebral parenchyma.
In accordance with a previous report on cystic kidneys induced in rat neonates when dosed with p-cumylphenol (PCP) for 18 days from postnatal day (PND) 4, 3 rat neonates were dosed with PCP once a day for 14 days, either from PND 14, 21, 28, 35, or 42 as W2, W3, W4, W5, and W6 groups, respectively, to investigate whether dosing periods in different PNDs influenced the development of cystic renal tubules. The lesion was striking in the W2 group and at a lesser magnitude in the W3 group, whereas either kidney was unaffected when dosing was initiated beyond PND 28. These findings, together with the results from the previous study, suggested that PND 14-28 is a critical dosing period for PCP to develop cystic kidneys in rat neonates. The lining epithelium of the cystic tubules was immunohistochemically positive for AQP2. This finding and the anatomical location indicated that the cystic tubules were of collecting duct origin. Either obstruction, fluid accumulation, or reparative hyperplasia of the lining epithelium was unlikely to be involved in the formation of cystic tubules lined with a monolayer of cuboidal or columnar epithelium with a high nuclear density. Thus, the follow-up investigation on PCP suggested a critical dosing period of PND 14-28 in rat neonates for the development of cystic dilation of renal collecting ducts. This study further supports that additive hyperplasia of the lining epithelium is a fundamental basis of this unique lesion.
We analyzed the histopathological changes and the number of motor neurons (MNs) in the lumbar spinal cord of Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase transgenic (SOD1G93ATg) mice, which are frequently used as a disease model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In SOD1G93ATg mice, hyaline inclusions and foamy vacuoles in the neuronal cell body were observed at 7 weeks of age before neurologic symptoms, and large vacuoles, spheroid formation, and nerve cell aggregation became prominent after 13 weeks of age. The number of healthy MNs was 28.7 to 37.1 cells/animal in wild-type mice and 9.3 to 13.6 cells/animal in transgenic (Tg) mice. Furthermore, the number of MNs, including degenerative neurons, in Tg mice was 27.3–36.1 cells/animal at 18 weeks of age and 17.8–19.6 cells/animal at 21 weeks of age. The present results provide useful information for the development of drugs in ALS treatment.