The laboratory opossum, Monodelphis domestiea, develops hyperplasia and neoplasia of the corneal stroma after repeated exposure to low doses of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) (non‐erythemic in skin). We exposed adult animals from genetically diverse families within our colony to determine whether there are any heritable components to the risk of this form of eye cancer. From about 5 months of age, animals were exposed 3 times a week to a dose of about 125 J/m2 of UVB (spectral peak = 302 nm). Thirty‐three sibships (151 individuals) completed at least 30 weeks of the protocol and 137 individuals completed 45 weeks. For genetic analysis, each animal was classified at 30 and 45 weeks as affected with corneal sarcoma or not. Heritabilities were estimated for the dichotomous eye‐tumor trait which was highly heritable at both time points. This eye‐cancer model system is valuable as a source of material for in vitro studies of angiogenesis and neoplastic transformation, for in vivo studies of tumor therapy and prevention, and for further research on the genetic determinants of cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research