Intravesical BCG administration in the guinea pig
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Intravesical BCG administration is used as an adjuvant therapy after transurethral resection for superficial bladder cancer in man. The mechanisms of its antitumor activity are not known. The aim of this study was to characterize the histomorphological changes in various organs of the guinea pig after intravesical BCG administration. The BCG preparation used was BCG-RIVM, a Dutch BCG preparation. Instillations were performed in previously undamaged bladders weekly for 6 consecutive weeks and lasted 30 min or 1 h. Different doses were used ranging from 103 culturable particles (c.p.) to 5 × 107 c.p. of BCG. After 6 weeks, the animals were killed and postmortem examination was performed. The bladder wall, retroperitoneal lymph nodes, spleen, liver, lungs and distant lymph nodes were examined histologically. The BCG therapy, with a dose of 106 culturable particles and higher, induced an inflammatory reaction consisting of mononuclear infiltrates in the subepithelial tissue of the bladder wall. In approximately 50% of the animals investigated, the infiltrates were accompanied by noncaseating granulomatous lesions indicated by the presence of epithelioid cells. In general, the epithelial layer of the bladder showed no visible alterations. Similarly, a granulomatous inflammatory reaction was observed in the first retroperitoneal (iliac) lymph nodes draining the bladder. Granulomatous lesions were occasionally also present in liver and lung. In three of the 29 animals investigated, lesions were present both in liver and lungs, and in two of these three animals a granulomatous reaction was observed in the spleen and distant lymph nodes indicating a generalized inflammatory response induced by BCG. No microorganisms were detected by Ziehl-Neelsen (ZN) staining or culture in Löwenstein-Jensen medium in the first draining (iliac) lymph nodes of the bladder or in the spleen. In this study we found that BCG could induce inflammatory reactions in the bladder wall after its introduction into the previously undamaged bladder. Ulceration of the epithelium covering the mononuclear infiltrates was not observed. Occasionally a generalized inflammatory response to BCG was present in the animals investigated.
Key wordsIntravesical BCG Histology Guinea pig Bladder carcinoma
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