Tumors of the Testis in the Mexican Axolotl (Ambystoma, or Siredon, mexicanum)

  • R. R. Humphrey
Part of the Recent Results in Cancer Research book series (RECENTCANCER, volume 1969)


Although neoplasms in the Amphibia occur with considerable frequency, ones originating in the testis seem to be very rarely encountered. In an extensive review published in 1962 Balls (1) was able to include only a single case, that of a carcinoma in Megalobatracbus maximus reported by Pick and Poll (2). In view of this apparent scarcity of neoplasms in the amphibian testis, it is rather remarkable that 16 have been found in Mexican axolotls of the writer’s colony. The first of these was discovered in 1941 in a white male about 6 years of age which had been obtained in 193 5 from Dr. Cranford Hutchinson, then at the Morris Biological Farm of the Wistar Institute. Fundamentally similar tumors have since been found in 15 additional animals, most of them of the same white strain. The last of the series was found in 1968; the tumors have thus been appearing at intervals over a period of 27 years. Five of them were found while the axolotl colony was at the University of Buffalo, and the remaining 11 since its transfer to Indiana University in 1957.


Germ Cell Tumor Epithelium Testicular Tumor Normal Tubule Wistar Institute 
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  1. 1.
    Balls, M.: Spontaneous neoplasms in amphibia: a review and descriptions of six new cases. Cancer Res. 22:1142–1154, 1962.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Pick, L., and Poll, H.: Uber einige bemerkenswerthe Tumorbildungen aus der Thier-pathologic, inbesondere uber gutartige und Krebsige Neubildungen bei Kaltblutern. Berlin Klin. Wchnschr. 40:572–574, 1903.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Brunst, V. V., and Roque, A. L.: Tumors in amphibians. I. Histology of a neuroepithelioma in Sircdon mexicanum. J. Nat. Cancer Inst. 38:193–204, 1967PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1969

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. R. Humphrey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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