Send to

Choose Destination
Oral Oncol. 2004 Aug;40(7):720-7.

Hamsters chewing betel quid or areca nut directly show a decrease in body weight and survival rates with concomitant epithelial hyperplasia of cheek pouch.

Author information

Laboratory of Dental Pharmacology and Toxicology, Department of Dentistry, Graduate Institute of Clinical Dental Science, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital and National Taiwan University, No. 1 Chang-Te Street, Taipei 100.


Betel quid (BQ) chewing is strongly associated with the occurrence of oral leukoplakia, oral submucous fibrosis, and oral cancer. There are about 200-600 million BQ chewers in the world. Previous animal studies support the potential carcinogenicity of BQ in different test systems. However, little animal experiment has let hamsters or rats to chew BQ directly, similar to that in humans. In the present study, we established a hamster model of chewing BQ or areca nut (AN). A total of 81 2-week-old hamsters were randomly divided into three groups: 25 for control group, 28 for BQ-chewing group, and 28 for AN-chewing group. These animals were fed with powdered diet with/without BQ or AN for 18 months. Although the consumption of BQ or AN showed some variations, hamsters fed with powdered diet could chew and grind AN or BQ into small pieces of coarse fibers during the entire experimental period. The survival rate of AN-chewing hamsters decreased significantly after 6 months of exposure. The mean survival time was 15.6 +/- 0.9 months for control animals, 13.6 +/- 0.98 months for AN-chewing animals, and 15.7 +/- 0.55 months for BQ-chewing animals. The body weight of BQ- or AN-chewing animals also decreased after 4-13 months. Hamsters fed with AN for 18 months showed hyperkeratosis in 80% and acanthosis in 50% of cheek pouches. Animals fed with BQ for 18 months also showed hyperkeratosis in 93% and acanthosis in 14% of cheek pouches. These results indicate that AN and BQ components may induce alterations in proliferation and differentiation of oral epithelial cells. Animal model of chewing BQ or AN can be useful for future tumor initiation, promotion and chemoprevention experiments simulating the condition of BQ chewing in humans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center