Bleomycin-induced cutaneous toxicity in the rat: analysis of histopathology and ultrastructure compared with progressive systemic sclerosis (scleroderma

Authors

  • J.D. MOUNTZ,

    1. Rheumatology Section, Department of Medicine, Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27103, U.S.A.
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    • *

      National Institute of Health, Bldg. 10, Rm 8D-17, Bethesda, MD 20205

  • M.B.DOWNS MINOR,

    1. Rheumatology Section, Department of Medicine, Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27103, U.S.A.
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    • Department of Anatomy, George Washington University Medical Center, 2300 I Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20037

  • R. TURNER,

    1. Rheumatology Section, Department of Medicine, Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27103, U.S.A.
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  • M.B. THOMAS,

    1. Rheumatology Section, Department of Medicine, Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27103, U.S.A.
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    • Department of Biology, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, NC 28204, U.S.A.

  • F. RICHARDS,

    1. Rheumatology Section, Department of Medicine, Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27103, U.S.A.
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  • E. PISKO

    Corresponding author
    1. Rheumatology Section, Department of Medicine, Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27103, U.S.A.
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  • Presented in part at the meeting of the Southern section, AFCR, New Orleans, LA, 25 January 1980 and at the ARA National Meeting, Atlanta, GA, 30 May 1980, U.S.A.

Edward Pisko, M.D., Rheumatology Section, Department of Medicine, Bowman Gray School of Medicine, 300 South Hawthorne Road, Winston-Salem, KC 27103, U.S.A.

SUMMARY

Rats injected with bleomycin over a 58-week period developed weight loss, alopecia, hyperpigmentation, skin thickening and skin tautness when compared with saline-injected control animals. The only significant abnormality in laboratory blood tests was an increased sedimentation rate in the bleomycin-treated rats compared with controls. Histological examination of dorsal skin showed atrophied sebaceous glands and increased collagen fibres, with diameters ranging from 37·5 to 75 nm as compared with 72·5 to 100 nm in control animals. Chronic bleomycin exposure produces clinical, histological and ultrastructural skin changes similar to those found in human progressive systemic sclerosis (scleroderma).

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