Copenhagen (Cop) rats are completely resistant to the chemical induction of mammary adenocarcinomas, but their susceptibility to hepatocarcinogenesis is virtually unknown. Rat liver is a well-characterized and easily manipulated tissue in which to study carcinogenesis. Therefore, if Cop rats are resistant to hepatocarcinogenesis, studies into resistance mechanisms may be feasible. Male Cop and F344 rats, 7-8 weeks old, were initiated using either N-nitrosodiethylamine (DEN) (200 mg/kg, i.p.) or a two-thirds partial hepatectomy (PH) followed by N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU) (60 mg/kg, i.p.). The rats were then promoted using a modified resistant hepatocyte (RH) protocol (a combination of four doses of 2-acetylaminofluorene (2-AAF) and a single dose of CCl4 that provides a selective mitotic stimulus for initiated cells). Six weeks after initiation the rats were killed and liver sections were stained for glutathione S-transferase 7-7 (GST 7-7), a marker for putative preneoplastic hepatocytes. Cop rats were found to be highly resistant, having a ~9- and ~27-fold smaller percentage of liver area occupied by GST 7-7-positive foci than susceptible F334 rats following initiation by DEN and MNU respectively. Furthermore, gross liver nodules did not form in any of the Cop rats, whereas all F344 rat livers contained nodules. Hepatic necrosis caused by DEN during initiation, and CCl4 during promotion is necessary to stimulate compensatory hepatocyte division. We demonstrated that these agents do indeed increase serum transaminase levels and produce histologic evidence of necrosis in Cop rats. In order for liver foci to grow rapidly in the RH protocol, the surrounding normal hepatocytes must be mito-inhibited by 2-AAF. We found that the degree of mito-inhibition of normal hepatocytes by 2-AAF is the same in Cop and F344 rats. These results show that the Cop rat is highly resistant to the chemical induction of putative preneoplastic liver foci and nodules.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research