• Open Access

Novel medium-term carcinogenesis model for lung squamous cell carcinoma induced by N-nitroso-tris-chloroethylurea in mice



Targeted treatments for lung cancer based on pathological diagnoses are required to enhance therapeutic efficacy. There are few well-established animal models for lung squamous cell carcinoma although several highly reproducible mouse models for lung adenoma and adenocarcinoma are available. This study was carried out to establish a new lung squamous cell carcinoma mouse model. In the first experiment, female A/J mice were painted topically on back skin twice weekly with 75 μL 0.013 M N-nitroso-tris-chloroethylurea for 2, 4, and 8 weeks (n = 15–20 per group) as initiation of lung lesions, and surviving mice were killed at 18 weeks. In the second experiment, mice were treated as above for 4 weeks and killed at 6, 12, or 18 weeks (n = 3 per group). Lung lobes were subjected to histopathological, immunohistochemical, immunoblotting, and ultrastructural analyses. In the case of treatment for 2, 4, and 8 weeks, incidences of lung squamous cell carcinoma were 25, 54, and 71%, respectively. Cytokeratin 5/6 and epidermal growth factor receptor were clearly expressed in dysplasia and squamous cell carcinoma. Desmosomes and tonofilaments developed in the squamous cell carcinoma. Considering the carcinogenesis model, we conclude that 2 or 4 weeks of N-nitroso-tris-chloroethylurea treatment may be suitable for investigating new chemicals for promotional or suppressive effects on lung squamous cell carcinoma.