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Cell kinetics of urethane induced murine pulmonary adenomata: I. The growth rate.

British Journal of Cancer
Nature Publishing Group
Publication Date
  • Research Article


A single injection of urethane into adult male A2G mice produced an increase in the proliferative rate of alveolar wall cells, reaching a peak at 2 weeks post urethan (PU) and declining to control levels by 2 months PU. During this urethane induced proliferative response the single and double labelling indices and the native metaphase index were all elevated although there was no corresponding alteration in the arrested metaphase index. This proliferative response may not be restricted to hyperplasia of potentially neoplastic cells, such as type II epithelium, but may also include type I epithelial cells and alveolar macrophage precursors. However, it was impossible to identify individual cell populations by methods used. The growth rate of adenomata decrease with time and cell kinetic techniques showed that the rates of entry of adenoma cells into DNA synthesis and into metaphase were decreasing concurrently with the growth rate. Thus the rate of cell production falls as adenomata age but how much cell loss contributes to the decrease in growth rate is not yet known. Decreasing cell production could be due to an increased cell cycle time and/or a decreased growth fraction. The duration of DNA synthesis in adenomata increased markedly as the mice survived, suggesting that the cell cycle time might be increased, but further experiments are required to determine whether the growth fraction changes. Attention is drawn to a complication that Colcemid introduces into kinetic studies on alveolar wall cells.

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