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Toxicol Pathol. 2012 Dec;40(8):1141-59. doi: 10.1177/0192623312447543. Epub 2012 Jun 11.

Differential transcriptomic analysis of spontaneous lung tumors in B6C3F1 mice: comparison to human non-small cell lung cancer.

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Cellular and Molecular Pathology Branch, National Toxicology Program-NTP, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences-NIEHS, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA.


Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in people and is mainly due to environmental factors such as smoking and radon. The National Toxicology Program (NTP) tests various chemicals and mixtures for their carcinogenic hazard potential. In the NTP chronic bioassay using B6C3F1 mice, the incidence of lung tumors in treated and control animals is second only to the liver tumors. In order to study the molecular mechanisms of chemically induced lung tumors, an understanding of the genetic changes that occur in spontaneous lung (SL) tumors from untreated control animals is needed. The authors have evaluated the differential transcriptomic changes within SL tumors compared to normal lungs from untreated age-matched animals. Within SL tumors, several canonical pathways associated with cancer (eukaryotic initiation factor 2 signaling, RhoA signaling, PTEN signaling, and mammalian target of rapamycin signaling), metabolism (Inositol phosphate metabolism, mitochondrial dysfunction, and purine and pyramidine metabolism), and immune responses (FcγR-mediated phagocytosis, clathrin-mediated endocytosis, interleukin 8 signaling, and CXCR4 signaling) were altered. Meta-analysis of murine SL tumors and human non-small cell lung cancer transcriptomic data sets revealed a high concordance. These data provide important information on the differential transcriptomic changes in murine SL tumors that will be critical to our understanding of chemically induced lung tumors and will aid in hazard analysis in the NTP 2-year carcinogenicity bioassays.

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