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1 September 2000 Induction of Primary Cutaneous Melanomas in C3H Mice by Combined Treatment with Ultraviolet Radiation, Ethanol and Aloe Emodin
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The role of ultraviolet (UV) radiation in the induction of nonmelanoma skin cancer is widely accepted, although its precise contribution to the development of primary cutaneous melanoma skin cancer requires further definition. We found that painting aloe emodin, a trihydroxyanthraquinone from Aloe barbadensis, in ethyl alcohol vehicle on the skin of mice in conjunction with exposure to UVB (280–320 nm) radiation results in the development of melanin-containing skin tumors. C3H/HeN mice were treated thrice weekly with aloe emodin in a 25% ethanol in water vehicle and exposed to 15 kJ/m2 UV radiation. Neither ethanol vehicle nor aloe emodin alone induced skin tumors in the absence of UV radiation. In two separate experiments, 20–30% of the mice treated with a combination of UV radiation and ethanol vehicle and 50–67% of the UV-irradiated animals given aloe emodin in ethanol vehicle developed primary cutaneous melanin-containing tumors. The diagnosis of melanoma was established using Fontana silver stain for melanin; these tumors were negative for vimentin and keratin. Melanin-containing melanosomes were observed by transmission electron microscopy in tumors diagnosed as melanomas. Although the mechanism of carcinogenesis in these mice is currently unknown, our findings have led to the development of the first facile murine model for the induction of primary melanoma. This model has the potential to clarify the role of UV radiation in the etiology of malignant melanoma.

Faith M. Strickland, H. Konrad Muller, L. Clifton Stephens, Corazon D. Bucana, Cherrie K. Donawho, Yan Sun, and Ronald P. Pelley "Induction of Primary Cutaneous Melanomas in C3H Mice by Combined Treatment with Ultraviolet Radiation, Ethanol and Aloe Emodin," Photochemistry and Photobiology 72(3), 407-414, (1 September 2000).<0407:IOPCMI>2.0.CO;2
Received: 13 April 2000; Accepted: 1 June 2000; Published: 1 September 2000

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