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Induction of the deficient acid DNAse activity in mouse interfollicular epidermis by croton oil as a possible tumor promoting mechanism


Histochemical activity of acid DNAse, intensity of nucleic acid staining and histological alterations in mouse interfollicular epidermis (I.F.E.) were investigated after a single dose or after chronic topical administration of two hyperplastic agents, of which one (croton oil) was a potent tumor promotor, and the other one (podophyllin) did not promote skin carcinogenesis. Podophyllin induced intense uniform I.F.E. hyperplasia without any proliferation of poorly differentiated basal cells, without increased nucleic acid staining and without any appreciably decreased acid DNAse activity. On the other hand, croton oil (as well as TPA) produced almost immediate, distinct hyperplasia of poorly differentiated basal cells with increased intensity in the staining of both nucleic acids and nearly complete deficiency in acid DNAse activity. Similar histochemical and histological patterns were observed at the sites of wounding hyperplasia in untreated control mice. Such wounding hyperplasia was thought also to be a tumor promoting factor. It was suggested that the decrease in acid DNAse activity which occured almost immediately after administration of potent tumor promotors and which could not be induced by a hyperplastic agent without tumor promoting action may have a particular importance in the mechanisms of tumor promotion.

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Supported by visitors research grant of Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, Heidelberg, Germany and by Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique Médicale, Belgique

I wish to thank Professor P. Bannasch, Division of Cytopathology, Institute of Experimental Pathology, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany, for his friendly help and precious comments.

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Taper, H.S. Induction of the deficient acid DNAse activity in mouse interfollicular epidermis by croton oil as a possible tumor promoting mechanism. Z. Krebsforsch. 90, 197–210 (1977).

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  • Nucleic Acid
  • Untreated Control
  • Basal Cell
  • Control Mouse
  • Tumor Promotor