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Cancer Res. 1975 Oct;35(10):2879-83.

Concanavalin A agglutination of cells from primary hepatocellular carcinomas and hepatic nodules induced by N-2-fluorenylacetamide.


A previous study demonstrated that cells of transplantable hepatocellular carcinomas were agglutinated by the plant lectin concanavalin A, while normal hepatocytes were not. In the present experiments, 95% or more of cells obtained from primary hepatocellular carcinomas which resulted from exposure of rats to N-2-fluorenylacetamide were agglutinated by this lectin. Exposure to this carcinogen also produces grossly visible foci of morphologically and biochemically altered hepatocytes which have been termed hepatic (hyperplastic; premalignant, neoplastic) nodules. Although these hepatocyte aggregates are generally accepted as precursors of the hepatocellular carcinomas, no agglutination was detected when their cells were exposed to concanavalin A. These results indicate that concanavalin A agglutinability is not acquired as a result of tumor transplantation. Furthermore, they suggest that significant alterations must occur in the cells of hepatic nodules prior to the manifestation of malignant behavior.

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