Indexed on: 01 May '93Published on: 01 May '93Published in: Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology
Tracheas were excised from fetal Syrian golden hamsters on the 15th day of gestation. Tracheal explants were cultured in vitro and exposed to different dose-levels of well known carcinogens. We chose two nitroso compounds, N-Methyl-N-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG) and Diethylnitrosamine (DEN) and two aromatic amines, Aminofluorene (AF) and Acetylaminofluorene (AAF). The tracheal explants were treated for 24 h in vitro, then the carcinogens were washed off and the tracheas were kept for 21, 28 or 35 days in culture. After fixation tracheal explants were transversely cut with serial section techniques and scored for morphological changes of the epithelium by light microscopy. Most of the control explants completed differentiation and had a normal morphology at the end of the in vitro culture period. Occasionally we found a decrease of the number of ciliated cells and some areas with squamous metaplasia in the respiratory epithelium. Carcinogen treatment with nitroso compounds led to a significant increase of the morphologic changes of the epithelium. These effects were especially obvious after DEN treatment. Morphologic changes of the epithelium such as metaplasia and hyperplasia were discussed as carcinogen-related events. In vitro exposure with aromatic amines did not induce marked metaplastic or hyperplastic changes in the respiratory epithelium of tracheal explants.