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Open Access Lymphosarcoma in the Laboratory Woodchuck (Marmota monax)

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From 1979 to 1999, 28 cases of lymphosarcoma were identified in the Cornell University woodchuck colony (prevalence rate: 152/100,000/yr). The prevalence of lymphosarcoma was similar in woodchucks not infected with the woodchuck hepatitis virus (WHV) and in chronic carriers of WHV. Males (13) and females (15) alike were affected (mean ± SD age 4.7 ± 2.92 years; range, 0.5 to 9 years). On the basis of the major organ system involved, woodchuck lymphosarcoma was classified as multicentric (12 cases, 43%), alimentary (5 cases, 18%), cranial mediastinal (5 cases, 18%), and miscellaneous (6 cases, 21%). A cutaneous form was not observed. Morphologic criteria similar to those of the Kiel classification were used for light microscopic classification. All Kiel categories—except the immunoblastic form—were found: 17 cases (61%) were centroblastic, and 6 were lymphocytic (21%). Other categories (centrocytic and plasmacytoid) were recognized less frequently. Immunophenotyping of 27 cases revealed 15 (56%) B cell (CD3/CD79a+ or CD3/BLA.36+), 7 (26%) T cell (CD3+/CD79a/BLA.36), and 5 (18%) non-T non-B cell (CD3/CD79a/BLA.36) lymphosarcomas. Lymphosarcoma in woodchucks develops at a higher rate than that observed in humans or companion animals, and WHV infection has no effect on prevalence. The anatomic and Kiel classification used in domestic species also can be used in woodchucks. Commercially available α-CD3, α-CD79a, and α-BLA.36 antibodies were useful for immunophenotyping woodchuck lymphosarcomas.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biomedical, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University Ithaca, New York 14853 2: Department of Population Medicine, and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University Ithaca, New York 14853 3: Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University Ithaca, New York 14853

Publication date: 2002-04-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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