Histopathologic features seen in sulfur mustard induced cutaneous lesions in hairless guinea pigs

K. J. Smith, J. S. Graham, R. B. Moeller, C. V. Okerberg, H. Skelton, C. G. Hurst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Sulfur mustard (SM), a chemical warfare agent first used early in the 20th century, has re-emerged in the past decade as a major threat around the world. At present, there are no effective therapeutic measures for SM exposure. Because the skin as well as other interface epithelial surfaces are the first tissues effected as this agent is absorbed, reactions within the skin are an area of active research into the mechanism of action of this alkylating agent. The euthymic hairless guinea pig has been used as the animal model for the study of SM induced injuries because of morphologic similarity of its skin to human skin, with a multiple layer epidermis, and because this animal has a normal immune system. We reviewed 102 biopsy specimens from 51 animals exposed to three different dose times of saturated SM vapor. Histopathologic evidence exists for increased programmed cell death as well as cellular necrosis, subepidermal blister formation, and delayed re-epithelialization secondary to problems with adhesion. Information obtained from this study adds to the body of information important in the investigation of the mechanisms of action of SM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-268
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cutaneous Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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