Letter | Published:

Transmission of Lymphoid Leukæmia in New-born Rats

Naturevolume 193pages791792 (1962) | Download Citation



CELL suspensions from leukæmic tissues of the AKR strain of mice were transplanted into new-born Wistar rats1. Two consecutive intraperitoneal or intravenous injections, spaced one week apart, resulted in deaths from leukæmia of 40–50 per cent of the recipients. Two morphological variants of lymphoid leukæmia, ‘early’ and ‘late’ forms, were observed in the inoculated rats. The early leukæmias caused deaths within 4–8 weeks post partum by a rapid intra-abdominal or systemic proliferation of the injected leukæmic cells. The onset of late leukæmias was delayed to 12–24 weeks following injections. Morphologically, late leukæmias manifested as thymic lymphosarcomata followed by the appearance of primitive blast or lymphoid cells in the peripheral blood, hepatosplenomegaly and leukæmic lymphadenopathy. Subsequent transplantation assays disclosed a most interesting difference between the early and late leukæmias. Cell suspensions from early leukæmias were readily back-transplantable from the rat to young adult AKR mice. In contrast, grafts from late leukæmias failed to grow in similar AKR recipients but were fatal to new-born or weanling rats within 2–3 weeks after one intraperitoneal injection. Thus, late leukæmias were antigenically of the recipient rather than donor type. These different biological properties of the leukæmic cells suggested a differing ætiology in the two forms. Late leukæmias were considered viral neoplasms possibly caused by the leukæmogenic agent present in leukæmic tissues of AKR mice2. To substantiate this hypothesis several criteria must be fulfilled, such as: (a) induction of lymphoid leukæmia in rats by filtrates from either AKR leukæmic tissues or induced leukæmias of the C3H-strain; (b) transmissibility of the induced leukæmias by cell-free extracts in rats; (c) a very low spontaneous incidence of lymphoid leukæmia in rats to exclude acceleration of an inherent leukæmic potential. This communication is concerned with attempts to transmit late leukæmias in rats by serial cell-free passages.

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  1. 1

    Kirsten, W. H., Anderson, D. G., and Platz, C. E., Cancer Res., 21, 767 (1961).

  2. 2

    Gross, L., Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. and Med., 76, 27 (1951).

  3. 3

    Billingham, R. E., and Brent, L., Transplant. Bull., 14, 67 (1957).

  4. 4

    Gross, L., Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. and Med., 106, 890 (1961).

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  1. Department of Pathology, University of Chicago, Chicago, 37

    • W. H. KIRSTEN
    • , C. E. PLATZ
    •  & J. S. FLOCKS


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