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Toxicol Pathol. 1998 Jul-Aug;26(4):461-73.

The National Toxicology Program evaluation of genetically altered mice as predictive models for identifying carcinogens.

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  • 1National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709-2233, USA.


National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences researchers are exploring the utility of genetically altered mice to study mechanisms of carcinogenesis. Two of these mouse models, the Tg.AC (carrier of an activated mouse H-ras oncogene) and the p53+/- (heterozygous for the wild-type tumor suppressor gene Trp53), have genetic alterations that appear to hasten their expression of chemically induced tumors. These 2 models have been proposed as a basis for new strategies for identifying chemical carcinogens and for assessing risk. The National Toxicology Program (NTP) is conducting a series of studies with these 2 genetically altered strains to further examine their strengths and weaknesses for identification of documented rodent and human carcinogens. In this first evaluation, candidates for study were drawn from the NTP historical database of 2-yr rodent carcinogenicity studies and the open literature (primarily for drugs). Results with this first set of 11 chemicals tested in genetically altered mice, compared with previous findings in the traditional 2-yr rodent assays and literature on human tumor findings, appear to support the premise advanced by Tennant et al that these models have the potential to serve as more rapid and less expensive test systems to identify carcinogens.

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