Agglutination of rat urinary bladder epithelial cells by concanavalin A (Con A) has been reported to be an early marker of bladder carcinogenesis. Ulceration of the bladder, induced by cyclophosphamide (CP) or freezing, followed by sodium saccharin in the diet results in the induction of bladder cancer. In the present studies, the agglutination of rat urinary bladder epithelial cells by Con A was shown to be increased during the regenerative hyperplasia following ulceration induced by i.p. CP injection, but it returned to normal levels by Day 21 when the preparative process was nearly complete. This effect correlated quantitatively with the dose of CP. However, if CP administration was followed by sodium saccharin in the diet beginning 14 days after the injection, the agglutinability of bladder cells by Con A persisted. In contrast, agglutination of bladder cells by Con A during regenerative hyperplasia following ulceration induced by freezing was not increased whether sodium saccharin was fed or not. These results indicate that Con A agglutination distinguishes between the regenerative hyperplasia induced by CP or freezing, even though either method followed by sodium saccharin in the diet results in bladder cancer in the rat.

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Supported in part by USPHS Grants CA32513, CA28015, and CA32313 from the National Cancer Institute, the former 2 through the National Bladder Cancer Project.

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