Journal Article

Sequential and morphological analyses of aberrant crypt foci formation in mice of differing susceptibility to azoxymethane-induced colon carcinogenesis

Alexandros Papanikolaou, Qian-Shu Wang, Demetrios Papanikolaou, Herbert E. Whiteley and Daniel W. Rosenberg

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 21, issue 8, pages 1567-1572
Published in print August 2000 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online August 2000 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/21.8.1567
Sequential and morphological analyses of aberrant crypt foci formation in mice of differing susceptibility to azoxymethane-induced colon carcinogenesis

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Aberrant crypt foci (ACF), putative preneoplastic lesions, are early morphological changes induced by the colon carcinogen azoxymethane (AOM). Although inbred mice differ markedly in their susceptibility to AOM carcinogenesis, we have previously shown that ACF develop in both resistant and sensitive mouse strains after AOM treatment. The purpose of this study was to examine the sequential development and identify the morphological characteristics of ACF induced by AOM in the distal colon of sensitive and resistant mice. A/J (highly susceptible), SWR/J (relatively susceptible) and AKR/J (resistant) mice were treated with 10 mg/kg AOM or saline i.p. once a week for 6 weeks and were killed at 1, 2, 4, 6, 9 and 24 weeks after the last injection. The distal colons were stained with methylene blue and the numbers of ACF and tumors determined. Tumors were present as early as 4 weeks after AOM exposure in SWR/J and A/J mice and increased in frequency throughout the study in both strains. No tumors developed in the AKR/J mice. ACF, however, formed in all strains of mice. The greatest difference between susceptible and resistant strains was in the number of large ACF that developed at later time points. Furthermore, morphometric analysis revealed that A/J mice had the highest percentage of dysplastic ACF, followed by SWR/J mice. These data indicate that the difference in cancer risk from AOM may be due to the lack of progression of smaller ACF in the resistant mice and to the development of dysplasia in a higher percentage of ACF from susceptible strains.

Keywords: ACF, aberrant crypt foci; AOM, azoxymethane; DMH, 1,2-dimethylhydrazine; FAA, focal areas of atypism; H&E, hematoxylin and eosin.

Journal Article.  4429 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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