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Dig Dis Sci. 1993 Mar;38(3):529-37.

Histochemical study of colonic cancer in experimental colitis of rats.

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First Department of Internal Medicine, Hiroshima University School of Medicine, Japan.


A reliable test for premalignant lesions in the development of colonic cancer in chronic ulcerative colitis has been needed. Thus, we designed this cytochemical study, using a model of experimental colitis and colonic tumors induced in Wistar male rats by the feeding of dextran sulfate sodium. The colitis had histologic similarities to ulcerative colitis in man. The percent frequency of polypoid lesions (dysplasia or dysplasia with carcinoma in situ) in the cecum and ascending colon was about 25% at three months and 90% at six months of dextran sulfate feeding. The cytochemical findings by high-iron diamine-Alcian blue staining and Ulex europeus agglutinin binding were chronologically paralleled by histological changes in the colonic mucosa, and the binding pattern of peanut agglutinin was not different between normal and dextran-treated animals. Moreover, some cytochemical changes that occurred during the inflammatory responses were not present in dysplastic or malignant lesions. Thus, the histochemical tests were not useful for detecting of premalignant lesions earlier than by conventional histology. Nevertheless, the dextran sulfate model of colitis in the rat appears suitable for study of cancer development in ulcerative colitis.

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