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Br J Cancer. 1988 Sep;58(3):314-21.

pH distributions in spontaneous and isotransplanted rat tumours.

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Department of Applied Physiology, University of Mainz, Federal Republic of Germany.


Spontaneous mammary tumours of the rat with various degrees of malignancy exhibit similar tissue pH distributions. The mean pH (+/- s.d.) of dysplasia is 7.05 +/- 0.20. In benign tumours the mean pH is 6.95 +/- 0.19 and in malignant tumours it is 6.94 +/- 0.19. In contrast, tumours with the same degree of malignancy but different histologies show different pH distributions. Benign tumours with a higher percentage of fibrous tissue exhibit less acidic pH values than those with larger portions of epithelial cells (delta pH = 0.38 pH units). The pH distribution in the benign tumours is independent of the tumour wet weight up to stages of very advanced growth. In the malignant tumours, a trend towards more acidic pH values is observed as the tumour mass enlarges. However, in tissue areas within a malignant tumour with gross, long-established necrosis the pH distribution is shifted towards more alkaline pH values. The pH distributions in spontaneous rat tumours are not significantly different from those obtained in isotransplanted Yoshida sarcomas (6.87 +/- 0.21). In the Yoshida sarcomas, mean pH values do not correlate with tumour size. However, a pH gradient from the rim to the centre of the tumours is found which coincides with the development of small, disseminated necroses in the tumour centre. It is concluded that pathology-related variations of tumour pH may be more important than the mode of tumour origin or the degree of malignancy.

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