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Toxicol Pathol. 1998 Sep-Oct;26(5):602-11.

Impact of Helicobacter hepaticus infection in B6C3F1 mice from twelve National Toxicology Program two-year carcinogenesis studies.

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National Toxicology Program, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709, USA.


Male and female B6C3F1 mice from 12 National Toxicology Program (NTP) 2-yr carcinogenesis studies were found to be infected with Helicobacter hepaticus. Many of the male mice from 9 of these studies had an associated hepatitis (affected studies). Helicobacter hepaticus has been reported to be associated with an increased incidence of hepatitis and hepatocellular neoplasms in the A/JCr male mouse. We attempted to determine if the data from the Helicobacter-affected NTP B6C3F1 mouse studies were compromised and unsuitable for cancer hazard identification. The incidences of neoplasms of the liver (both hepatocellular and hemangiosarcoma) but not of other organs in control male B6C3F1 mice were increased in affected studies as compared with control males from unaffected studies. The increased incidence of hepatocellular neoplasms was observed in those males exhibiting H. hepaticus-associated hepatitis. Other observations further differentiated control male mice from affected and unaffected studies. H-ras codon 61 CAA to AAA mutations were less common in liver neoplasms from males from affected studies as compared with historical and study controls. In addition, increases in cell proliferation rates and apoptosis were observed in the livers of male mice with H. hepaticus-associated hepatitis. These data support the hypothesis that the increased incidence of liver neoplasms is associated with H. hepaticus and that hepatitis may be important in the pathogenesis. Therefore, interpretation of carcinogenic effects in the liver of B6C3F1 mice may be confounded if there is H. hepaticus-associated hepatitis.

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