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Int J Toxicol. 2007 Jul-Aug;26(4):307-13.

A review of the histopathology of cigarette smoke-induced lung cancer in rats and mice.

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Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, 2425 Ridgecrest Drive, SE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87108, USA.


In the past several years an increased number of lung tumors has been reported in laboratory studies of rats and mice after lifetime exposure to mainstream cigarette smoke. Proliferative epithelial lesions are present in the lungs of both species and are apparent antecedent lesions to benign and malignant tumors. Both species have alveolar epithelia hyperplasia, alveolar adenomas, and alveolar carcinomas. The incidence of all three are more in the rats. In addition, mice also have bronchiolar epithelial hyperplasia and bronchial papillomas not found in rats. Rats have a low incidence of squamous cyst that is not found in mice. Lung tumors in rats and mice are found at the end of the life span and rarely metastasize. The characteristics of the lung tumors, and the proliferative changes associated with the tumors, are important in helping understand the mechanisms of lung cancer induction. These studies in rats and mice allow new approaches to the study of cigarette smoke-induced changes in the lung.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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