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Article

Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes in Pet Rabbit Mammary Carcinomas: A Study with Relevance to Comparative Pathology

1
Targos Molecular Pathology GmbH, Germaniastrasse 7, 34119 Kassel, Germany
2
Institute of Veterinary Pathology, University of Leipzig, An den Tierkliniken, 04109 Leipzig, Germany
3
Institute of Anatomy, Experimental Neurobiology, Goethe-University, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, 60590 Frankfurt/Main, Germany
4
Laboklin GmbH & Co. KG, Steubenstrasse 4, 97688 Bad Kissingen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(8), 1437; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10081437
Received: 16 July 2020 / Revised: 12 August 2020 / Accepted: 13 August 2020 / Published: 17 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers in Animal Health and Disease)
The interaction between tumors and immune cells influences tumor fate, i.e., regression, growth, or even metastases. The evaluation of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in human breast cancer has prognostic value. Pet rabbits develop spontaneous mammary carcinomas and have an immune system that is comparable with that of humans, so that they have the potential to provide an animal model for human breast cancer. To further substantiate this similarity, this study examined TILs in 107 pet rabbit mammary carcinomas according to criteria established for human breast cancer. For TIL evaluation routinely stained microscopic sections were examined by light microscopy. Relevant histological and immunohistochemical tumor characteristics were obtained from a data base. Results showed that increased presence of stromal TILs was statistically associated with histological tumor features indicative of a less aggressive biological behavior, i.e., reduced tumor cell proliferation and a lower histological grade. The expression by tumor cells of calponin, a presumed tumor suppressor protein, was also associated with their reduced proliferation and a higher percentage of stromal TILs. Data suggest that higher percentages of stromal TILs may have the potential to serve as favorable prognostic indicator in rabbit mammary carcinomas and support the value of pet rabbits for comparative research.
Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) serve as prognostic biomarker in human breast cancer. Rabbits have the potential to act as animal model for human breast cancer, and close similarities exist between the rabbit and human immune system. The aim of this study is to characterize TILs in pet rabbit mammary carcinomas and to statistically correlate results with histological and immunohistochemical tumor characteristics. Microscopic evaluation of TILs was performed in hematoxylin and eosin stained sections of 107 rabbit mammary carcinomas according to international guidelines for human breast cancer. Data on histological features of malignancy, estrogen and progesterone receptor status and calponin expression were obtained from the data base. This study revealed a statistical association between stromal TILs in the central tumor (CT) and infiltrative margin. Higher maximal percentages of stromal TILs at the CT were statistically correlated with decreased mitotic count and lower tumor grade. An increased number of calponin positive tumor cells was statistically associated with a lower mitotic count and a higher percentage of stromal TILs. Results suggest that higher percentages of stromal TILs are useful biomarkers that may point toward a favorable prognosis in rabbit mammary carcinomas and support the concept of the use of rabbits for translational research. View Full-Text
Keywords: animal model; biomarker; breast cancer; comparative pathology; mammary carcinomas; light microscopy; Oryctolagus cuniculus; pet rabbit; tumor infiltrating lymphocytes; translational medicine animal model; biomarker; breast cancer; comparative pathology; mammary carcinomas; light microscopy; Oryctolagus cuniculus; pet rabbit; tumor infiltrating lymphocytes; translational medicine
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MDPI and ACS Style

Schöniger, S.; Degner, S.; Zhang, Q.; Schandelmaier, C.; Aupperle-Lellbach, H.; Jasani, B.; Schoon, H.-A. Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes in Pet Rabbit Mammary Carcinomas: A Study with Relevance to Comparative Pathology. Animals 2020, 10, 1437. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10081437

AMA Style

Schöniger S, Degner S, Zhang Q, Schandelmaier C, Aupperle-Lellbach H, Jasani B, Schoon H-A. Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes in Pet Rabbit Mammary Carcinomas: A Study with Relevance to Comparative Pathology. Animals. 2020; 10(8):1437. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10081437

Chicago/Turabian Style

Schöniger, Sandra, Sophie Degner, Qian Zhang, Claudia Schandelmaier, Heike Aupperle-Lellbach, Bharat Jasani, and Heinz-Adolf Schoon. 2020. "Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes in Pet Rabbit Mammary Carcinomas: A Study with Relevance to Comparative Pathology" Animals 10, no. 8: 1437. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10081437

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