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J Biomed Biotechnol. 2011;2011:473964. doi: 10.1155/2011/473964. Epub 2010 Dec 28.

Morphological and molecular alterations in 1,2 dimethylhydrazine and azoxymethane induced colon carcinogenesis in rats.

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  • 1Institute of Pathology, Medical Experimental Centre, Medical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Korytkova 2, 1105 Ljubljana, Slovenia.


The dimethyhydrazine (DMH) or azoxymethane (AOM) model is a well-established, well-appreciated, and widely used model of experimental colon carcinogenesis. It has many morphological as well as molecular similarities to human sporadic colorectal cancer (CC), which are summarized and discussed in this paper. In addition, the paper combines present knowledge of morphological and molecular features in the multistep development of CC recognized in the DMH/AOM rat model. This understanding is necessary in order to accurately identify and interpret alterations that occur in the colonic mucosa when evaluating natural or pharmacological compounds in DMH/AOM rat colon carcinogenesis. The DMH/AOM model provides a wide range of options for investigating various initiating and environmental factors, the role of specific dietary and genetic factors, and therapeutic options in CC. The limitations of this model and suggested areas in which more research is required are also discussed.

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