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J Natl Cancer Inst. 1981 May;66(5):961-5.

Carcinogenicity of N-methyl-N-nitrosourea and N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea when applied to a localized area of the hamster trachea.


The carcinogenicity of N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU) and N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) was studied with the use of a hamster tracheal tumor model system. Hamsters received 15 or 10 once-weekly treatments of either a 0.5 or 0.25% solution of MNU and were killed 9 months after the first intratracheal instillation. Other hamsters received 15 once-weekly treatments of a 0.5, 0.25, or 0.125% solution of ENU and were killed at 6 months. Treatment with MNU resulted in a dose-dependent induction of tracheal carcinomas; 94% of the tumors induced were combined epidermoid and adenocarcinomas. Treatment of hamsters with a 0.5, 0.25, 0.125% solution of ENU induced an 83, 64, and 71% incidence of benign tracheal tumors, respectively (papillomas and polyps). No tracheal carcinomas were induced by ENU. The carcinogenicity of MNU and the reproducibility of tumor induction with the use of the localized tracheal washing, tumor model system were confirmed. Furthermore, the sensitivity of the localized tracheal washing technique for the detection of the tumorigenicity of compounds toward respiratory epithelium was demonstrated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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