NYMC Faculty Publications

Chicken Egg Fetal Liver DNA and Histopathologic Effects of Structurally Diverse Carcinogens and Non-carcinogens

Journal Title

Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology

First Page


Last Page


Document Type


Publication Date

September 2017


Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology


Chicken egg fetal livers were evaluated for histopathological changes produced by four genotoxic hepatocarcinogens: 2-acetylaminofluorene (AAF), aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), diethylnitrosamine (DEN); four structurally related non- or weakly- carcinogenic comparators: fluorene (FLU), aflatoxin B2 (AFB2), benzo[e]pyrene (BeP), N-nitrosodiethanolamine (NDELA); two epigenetic hepatocarcinogens: clofibric acid (CFA), phenobarbital (PB); and the non-carcinogen, D-mannitol (MAN). CFA, PB and MAN were also assessed for formation of DNA adducts using the 32P nucleotide postlabeling (NPL) assay and for DNA breaks using the comet assay. CFA was also assessed in enhanced comet assay for oxidative DNA damage induction. Eggs were dosed on days 9- 11 of incubation. For genotoxicity evaluation, livers were collected 3h after the last dose. Liver qualitative histopathology assessment was performed on days 12 and 18 of incubation. CFA was negative for DNA adducts but yielded clear evidence of DNA breaks due to oxidative stress. PB and MAN produced no DNA adducts or breaks. Liver to body weight ratios were not affected in most groups, but were decreased in DEN groups, and increased after PB dosing. Livers from control groups, FLU, AFB2, BeP, NDELA, CFA, and MAN groups, displayed a typical hepatocellular trabecular pattern at both time points. In contrast, the four genotoxic carcinogens induced time- and dose- related interference with fetal liver cell processes of proliferation, migration and differentiation, leading to hepatocellular and cholangiocellular pleomorphic dysplasia and re-(de-) differentiation with distortion of the trabecular pattern. In addition, dosing with the high dose of DEN produced gallbladder agenesis. PB induced hepatocellular hypertrophy, interference with migration, expressed as distortion of the trabecular pattern, and a moderate cholangiocellular dysplasia. In summary, histopathological analysis of chicken fetal livers revealed developmental anomalies, as well as genotoxicity-induced and, in the case of PB, adaptive morphological changes. Thus, the model provides histopathological outcomes of molecular effects.