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Lack of a relationship between immune function and chemically induced hepatocarcinogenesis in B6C3F1 mice

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The relationship between immune function and chemically induced hepatocarcinogenesis was studied employing an in vivo murine model. Neonatal B6C3F1 mice were given a single carcinogenic dose of diethylnitrosamine (DEN) and the time-response kinetics for the early (foci of alteration) and late (adenomas/carcinomas) phases of hepatocellular carcinogenesis were compared to changes in hematopoiesis and immune functions associated with immune surveillance and natural resistance. Increases in hematopoiesis occurred just prior to or concurrent with the appearance of hepatocellular carcinomas, while increased macrophage and natural killer cell cytotoxicity and suppression of cell-mediated immunity occurred following tumor appearance and progressed with increasing tumor burden. Neither immunological nor hematopoietic changes were associated with early phases of hepatocarcinogenesis, as monitored by the appearance of altered hepatocellular foci. Although changes in hematopoiesis may represent an early indicator for hepatocarcinogenesis in the mouse tumor model, the data suggest that altered immune surveillance and natural resistance are not factors in the development of chemically induced hepatocellular tumors, and the changes in immune function are probably secondary to tumor development.

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Correspondence to Dori R. Germolec.

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Germolec, D.R., Maronpot, R.R., Ackermann, M.F. et al. Lack of a relationship between immune function and chemically induced hepatocarcinogenesis in B6C3F1 mice. Cancer Immunol Immunother 27, 121–127 (1988).

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  • Natural Killer
  • Hepatocellular Carcinoma
  • Natural Killer Cell
  • Immune Function
  • Cell Cytotoxicity