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Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2003 Sep 15;191(3):227-34.

Chemical-specific alterations in ras, p53, and beta-catenin genes in hemangiosarcomas from B6C3F1 mice exposed to o-nitrotoluene or riddelliine for 2 years.

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  • 1Laboratory of Experimental Pathology, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, P.O. Box 12233, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA.


The most prominent neoplastic lesions in mice in the 2-year studies of o-nitrotoluene and riddelliine were hemangiosarcomas. Fifteen o-nitrotoluene-induced hemangiosarcomas of the skeletal muscle, subcutaneous tissue, and mesentery; 12 riddelliine-induced hemangiosarcomas of the liver; and 15 spontaneous subcutaneous hemangiosarcomas were examined for genetic alterations in ras, p53, and beta-catenin genes. Mutations in at least one of these genes were identified in 13 of 15 (87%) of the o-nitrotoluene-induced hemangiosarcomas with missense mutations in p53 exons 5-8 detected in 11 of 15 (73%) of these neoplasms. Seven of 15 (47%) hemangiosarcomas from mice exposed to o-nitrotoluene had deletions at exon 2 splice sites or smaller deletions in the beta-catenin gene. K-ras mutation was detected in only 1 of the 15 (7%) o-nitrotoluene-induced hemangiosarcomas. In contrast to the o-nitrotoluene study, 7/12 (58%) riddelliine-induced hemangiosarcomas had K-ras codon 12 GTT mutations and, when screened by immunohistochemistry, 9/12 (75%) had strong staining for the p53 protein in malignant endothelial cells, the cells of origin of hemangiosarcomas. Riddelliine-induced hemangiosarcomas were negative for the beta-catenin protein. Spontaneous hemangiosarcomas from control mice lacked both p53 and beta-catenin protein expression and ras mutations. Our data indicated that p53 and beta-catenin mutations in the o-nitrotoluene-induced hemangiosarcomas and K-ras mutations and p53 protein expression in riddelliine-induced hemangiosarcomas most likely occurred as a result of the genotoxic effects of these chemicals. It also suggests that these mutations play a role in the pathogenesis of the respective hemangiosarcomas in B6C3F1(1) mice.

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