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Toxicol Pathol. 2012 Apr;40(3):473-81. doi: 10.1177/0192623311431948. Epub 2012 Jan 31.

Association of advanced chronic progressive nephropathy (CPN) with renal tubule tumors and precursor hyperplasia in control F344 rats from two-year carcinogenicity studies.

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From the archives of the National Toxicology Program, National Institutes of Health, kidney sections from twenty-four carcinogenicity studies (representing twenty-three chemicals) in male and female F344 rats were histopathologically re-evaluated to grade the severity of chronic progressive nephropathy (CPN) on an expanded scale of 0-8, and to record the presence of renal tubule tumors (RTT) and their precursor, atypical tubule hyperplasia (ATH). The data were statistically analyzed using SAS software for logistic regression analysis. This histopathological survey of 2,436 F344 rats showed clear evidence of a qualitative and statistically significant association between advanced stages of CPN severity and the development of low-grade RTT and ATH. Advanced CPN severity therefore represents a risk factor for the development of RTT and appears to be an underlying basis for spontaneous occurrence of RTT in the F344 rat. The difference in incidence and severity of CPN between the sexes also explains the 9:1 male-to-female sex difference in the spontaneous occurrence of ATH and RTT observed here. The regulatory significance of this finding is that chemicals exacerbating CPN as their only renal effect are likely to show a numerical increase in RTT with dose, which does not represent a direct tumorigenic effect of the chemical.

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