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Vet Pathol. 2011 Jul;48(4):896-902. doi: 10.1177/0300985810377184. Epub 2010 Aug 19.

Neoplasia and granulomas surrounding microchip transponders in Damaraland mole rats (Cryptomys damarensis).

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  • 1Department of Pathobiology and Veterinary Science, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, USA. RSura@dow.com


Damaraland mole rats (Cryptomys damarensis) are among the longest-living rodents, with a maximum longevity of approximately 16 years. As one of the few mammals termed eusocial, these animals have been used in behavioral, genetic, metabolic, and physiologic research at the University of Connecticut since 1997. For individual identification at 3 to 4 months of age, mole rats were subcutaneously implanted with microchip transponders (11 mm in length) in the dorsal cervical region. In 2007, 2 of the 90 implanted adults, 10-year-old and 9-year-old females, developed subcutaneous masses at the site of the implant. Histopathological and immunohistochemical examinations revealed amelanotic melanoma and fibrosarcoma, respectively, with metastasis of the amelanotic melanoma. In 2008, a total of 3 adult males were castrated as part of a sex behavior study; 3 months later, all 3 castrated males developed subcutaneous masses around their implants, whereas none of the noncastrated males had masses. After an additional 9 months, these masses were found to be granulomas. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of neoplasia in this species. Both the tumors and the granulomas surrounded the microchip transponder.

© The Authors 2011

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