, Volume 12, Issue 8, pp 825-835

Karyotype of canine soft tissue sarcomas: a multi-colour, multi-species approach to canine chromosome painting

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Many canine tumour types represent useful models for tumours also found in humans. Studies of chromosomal abnormalities in canine tumours have been impeded by the complexity of the canine karyotype (2n = 78), which has made accurate identification of rearranged chromosomes difficult and laborious. To overcome this difficulty we have developed a seven-colour paint system for canine chromosomes, with six sets of chromosome paints covering all chromosomes except Y. Several pairs of canine autosomes co-locate in the flow karyotype. To distinguish these autosomes from each other, paint sets were supplemented with chromosomes of red fox and Japanese raccoon dog. Paints were used in fluorescence in-situ hybridization to analyse karyotypes in fourteen canine soft tissue sarcomas. Rearranged karyotypes were observed in seven tumours, but there was evidence for loss of rearrangement during tissue culture. Five tumours had rearrangements involving four chromosomes or fewer; one, a chondrosarcoma, had lost seven chromosomes whilst the last, a spindle cell sarcoma, had rearrangements involving eighteen chromosome pairs. The paint sets described here facilitate the complete cytogenetic analysis of balanced translocations and other inter-chromosomal rearrangements in canine tumours. We believe that this is the first canine tumour series to be subjected to this level of analysis.