Alpha-fetoprotein dynamics during ethionine-induced hepatocarcinogenesis in rat
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Rats fed on a diet containing 0.25% DL-ethionine (ethionine), which has been usually used as carcinogenic dose, demonstrated the early elevations of serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) approximately in week 6 of the feeding. After declining once between week 10 and week 14, the serum AFP levels increased again in week 22 of the continuous feeding, when well differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma had already developed. The level of serum AFP after development of hepatoma was found to be lower than those seen during the early elevation of AFP. Furthermore, in ethionine-induced hepatoma-bearing rats, AFP levels in the tumors were rather low as compared to those in the non-tumorous portions of the liver surrounding the tumors. The results indicate that ethionine-induced hepatocellular carcinoma is not an AFP-highly-producing tumor.
Key wordsEthionine-induced hepatoma AFP
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