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Open Access Spontaneous Nonthymic Tumors in SCID Mice

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SCID mice provide an excellent platform for cancer research. Because of their lack of immunity, SCID mice readily succumb to infectious pathogens and therefore must be maintained in an SPF, barrier-protected environment. Although SPF and barrier facilities prevent infection, SCID mice remain prone to premature death due in part to a high prevalence of spontaneous thymic lymphomas. However, little is known about spontaneous nonthymic tumors in SCID mice. We therefore analyzed the incidence of nonthymic tumor in our defined-flora C.B-17/Icr-SCID/Sed mice and examined their histopathologic characteristics. We necropsied 1060 retired SCID breeders (506 males, 554 females; average ages of 325 and 320 d, respectively) and found that 24 mice had developed nonthymic tumors, yielding an incidence of 2.26% (1.78% in males; 2.71% in females). The incidence of nonthymic tumors was substantially lower than that of thymic lymphomas in our retired SCID breeders (12.3% in males; 4.15% in females). Based on histopathology, 9 nonthymic tumors in male SCID mice consisted of 4 salivary gland myoepiteliomas, 2 rhabdomyosarcomas, and 3 cases of leukemia involving multiple organs. Female SCID mice had 15 nonthymic tumors consisting of 8 mammary adenocarcinomas, 4 salivary gland myoepitheliomas, and 1 case each of leukemia, rhabdomyosarcoma, and fibrosarcoma. In addition, we tested in vivo transplantability and characterized the growth behavior of several of these tumors. To our knowledge, this report is the first comprehensive description of spontaneous nonthymic tumors, including 8 myoepitheliomas and 3 rhabdomyosarcomas, from the same SCID mouse colony.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Radiation Oncology, Edwin L Steele Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. [email protected] 2: Department of Pathology and Center of Comparative Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA 3: Department of Radiation Oncology, Edwin L Steele Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Publication date: 01 June 2011

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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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