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Jpn J Cancer Res. 1988 Jul;79(7):828-35.

High susceptibility to hepatocellular carcinoma development in LEC rats with hereditary hepatitis.

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Chromosome Research Unit, Faculty of Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo.


A remarkably high incidence of hepatocellular carcinomas was observed in long-surviving LEC rats with hereditary hepatitis. Among the 60 LEC rats examined between 12 and 28 months of age from F29 and F30, 55 (92%) developed putative preneoplastic and neoplastic lesions such as hyperplastic foci and nodules, and hepatocellular carcinomas. Of these, hepatocellular carcinomas were observed with a high frequency (46/55; 84%). All rats of advanced age that survived more than 18 months developed hepatocellular carcinomas. These results suggest that the development of liver tumors in LEC rats is an age-associated phenomenon with serial hepatic alterations after the subsidence of acute hepatitis. The long-surviving rats had no normal tissue and showed chronic hepatitis in nontumorous tissues of the liver. Cholangiofibrosis was also found in most rats with hepatic lesions. Metastasis of hepatocellular carcinomas was found in four rats. Histologically, the hepatocellular carcinomas were of a well-differentiated type with a typical trabecular structure. Thus, LEC rats seem to be a promising animal model for studying the pathogenesis of hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma.

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