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The Induction of Renal Tumours by Feeding of Basic Lead Acetate to Rats

British Journal of Cancer
Nature Publishing Group
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289 THE INDUCTION OF RENAL TUMOURS BY FEEDING OF BASIC LEAD ACETATE TO RATS G. J. VAN ESCH, H. VAN GENDEREN AND H. H. VINK From the National Institute of Public Health, Toxicological Laboratory, Utrecht, The Netherlands Received for publication April 10, 1962 SOME years ago we attempted to produce inclusion bodies in the nuclei of kidney cells by feeding rats a diet containing basic lead acetate. Kidney tumours developed in some of the animals which were studied after a long and unintentional delay during which the feeding of basic lead acetate had been continued. Zollinger (1953) had reported on the induction of renal tumours in rats following long-term treatment by weekly injections of lead phosphate. Additional information about these kidney tumours was published by Tonz in 1957. The importance of this carcinogenic effect of lead salts prompted us to do further work. The present report records the results of long-term feeding experi- ments with rats using two different dosage levels of basic lead acetate in the food. In addition, a virological study was made, based on the assumption that the inclusion bodies observed after treatment with lead salts could be of viral nature and the carcinogenic effect be caused by the activation of a virus. The linking of the carcinogenic effect of lead with its content of radioactive material was also considered. EXPERIMENTAL Two series offeeding experiments were made with an interval of about 6 months, each consisting of a control group and an experimental group of 24-30 rats. In both series about equal numbers of male and female animals were distributed over the control and experimental groups, using litter-mates. The animals were obtained from our own rat colony shortly after weaning. The " Wistar strain " used has been randomly bred for more than 15 years. The animals were housed in wire cages, in groups of five, according to sex and supplied a powdered standard diet consisting of two thirds whole wheat flour, one third whole milk powder with ad

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