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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1987 Apr;84(7):2029-32.

Progressive dysplasia and aneuploidy are hallmarks of mouse skin papillomas: relevance to malignancy.


We report a systematic histopathologic study of papillomas at different times during promotion, correlating the results with those from cytogenetic analysis of the same tumors. Papillomas were induced in SENCAR mice by two-stage carcinogenesis (7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene and phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate). Individual tumors were randomly sampled at different times during promotion, and histopathologic and cytogenetic studies were carried out on every tumor. Early during promotion (10 weeks), most papillomas were well-differentiated hyperplastic lesions with mild or no cellular atypia. No tumors showed severe dysplastic changes. By 20 weeks of promotion, a dramatic drop had occurred in the number of lesions with no dysplasia. Most of the tumors presented moderate dysplasia, and some already showed severe dysplastic changes. At later stages (30-40 weeks), most of the papillomas were classified as moderately or severely dysplastic papillomas, and several were considered to be intrapapillomatous carcinomas. This histopathologic evaluation was supported by nuclear measurements performed on papillomas at different time points. Chromosomal abnormalities followed a similar trend. Papillomas seem to start as diploid lesions, but between 10 and 20 weeks of promotion, hyperdiploid cells can be observed in almost every tumor. In some cases the stem line was taken over by aneuploid clones. At 40 weeks of promotion, all papillomas were aneuploid, most of them with hyperdiploid stem lines. A positive correlation was found between the histological and cytogenetic studies, with the most aggressive and atypical tumors being the more aneuploid. These results support the idea that most, if not all, papillomas are truly premalignant lesions in different stages of the potential progression toward malignancy. Chromosomal abnormalities might play an important role in the sequence of events leading to malignancy.

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