Corneal tumours were induced in almost 100% of grey, short-tailed South American opossums (Monodelphis domestica) exposed three times weekly to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) for periods of a year or more. Five tumours, representing the morphological spectrum of UVR-induced corneal tumours (two fibrosarcomas, one malignant fibrous histiocytoma, one putative haemangiosarcoma, and one squamous cell carcinoma overlying a sarcoma), were assayed immunohistochemically for reactivity with antibodies against the intermediate filaments vimentin, smooth muscle actin (α isoform), muscle-specific actins (α and γ isoforms), desmin and cytokeratin, and with antibodies against the vascular endothelial marker von Willebrand factor. The squamous cell carcinoma was cytokeratin-positive. Other tumours were cytokeratin-negative and vimentin-positive. Three tumours had scattered individual cells and groups of cells immunoreactive with antibodies against smooth muscle actin and muscle-specific actins; two tumours (a fibrosarcoma and the malignant fibrous histiocytoma) had small numbers of desmin-positive cells. The putative haemangiosarcoma contained two populations of neoplastic cells, von Willebrand factor-positive vascular endothelial cells and smooth muscle actin-positive spindle cells. It was concluded (1) that UVR-induced corneal tumours may be composed of cells derived from resident epithelial cells, immigrant vascular endothelial cells, or fibroblast-like cells of unknown origin, and (2) that such tumours may contain more than one neoplastic cell type. (C) 2000 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine