Published in Volume
87, Issue 5
(May 1991)J Clin Invest.
1991, The American Society for
Spontaneous hepatic copper accumulation in Long-Evans Cinnamon rats with hereditary hepatitis. A model of Wilson's disease.
Laboratory of Pathology, Cancer Institute, Hokkaido University School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan.
Published May 1991
Long-Evans Cinnamon (LEC) rats, an inbred strain of a mutant rat isolated from Long-Evans rats, develop hereditary hepatitis. To elucidate the role of copper metabolism in the development of the hepatitis in LEC rats, we examined the copper concentration in the tissues and serum levels of copper and ceruloplasmin. Copper concentration in the liver of LEC rats was over 40 times that of normal Long-Evans Agouti (LEA) rats, while the serum ceruloplasmin and copper concentrations in LEC rats decreased significantly. The hepatocytes of LEC rats show steatosis in cytoplasm and pleomorphism of mitochondria, resembling the histologic features of the liver in Wilson's disease. These findings suggest that the hereditary hepatitis in LEC rats is closely associated with copper toxicity, and may be dealing with a rat form of Wilson's disease. Thus the LEC rats will provide a unique and useful animal model for clarifying the mechanism and for developing treatment strategies for Wilson's disease and other abnormal copper metabolism in humans.
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