Cytological changes during progression of neoplasia in selected fish species

David E. Hinton, John A. Couch, Swee J Teh, Lee A. Courtney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


Cytological changes during progression of experimentally induced hepatic neoplasia in fishes were reviewed with emphasis on recent findings in Cyprinodon variegatus and Oryzias latipes. Hepatocytes are particularly sensitive to toxic changes during early phases of response to carcinogens reflecting both lethal and sublethal alterations. In these degenerative lesions, enzyme histochemical studies reveal marked deficiency of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, glucose-6-phosphatase and adenosine triphosphatase. Surviving hepatocytes are either enlarged, encircled by cells with small nucleus to cytoplasm ratios, and have altered nuclear morphology suggestive of an inability to divide, or are smaller, apparently rapidly dividing, and have basophilic cytoplasm. In both species, development of spongiosis hepatis occurred following cytotoxic phases. This lesion apparently provides abundant space for cellular remodeling during neoplastic progression leading to eventual multinodular change. Foci of altered hepatocytes included basophilic, eosinophilic (both species) and clear cell (Cyprinodon variegatus only). Enzyme alterations preceded other tinctorial, morphologic alterations and were seen in cells composing foci and tumors, suggesting lineage of phenotypic alteration. Cytologic changes within other resident cell populations during neoplastic progression were reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-112
Number of pages36
JournalAquatic Toxicology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Carcinogenesis
  • Diethylnitrosamine
  • Fishes
  • Liver
  • Neoplasia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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