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Am J Pathol. 1993 May;142(5):1524-33.

SV40 induces mesotheliomas in hamsters.

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Section on Viruses and Cellular Biology, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.


In the course of studies to elucidate the relative contribution of simian virus 40 (SV40) large T and small t proteins during oncogenesis, we observed the appearance of pericardial and pleural tumors in 100% of Syrian hamsters injected in the pleural space with wild type SV40. When SV40 was injected via the intracardiac or intraperitoneal routes, more than 50% of hamsters developed mesothelial tumors. Macroscopic, microscopic, ultramicroscopic, and histochemical characteristics identify these neoplasms and derived cell lines as mesotheliomas and mesothelioma-derived cell lines. The SV40 genome was integrated and expressed in the mesotheliomas and derived cell lines. The absence of mesotheliomas in hamsters injected with SV40 small t deletion mutants indicates that the small t protein plays an important role in the development of SV40-induced mesotheliomas. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first definitive report of virus-induced mesotheliomas in mammals.

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