Short bronchial segments obtained by pneumonectomy were implanted, 9–12 per dog, in the subcutaneous tissues of the back of seven dogs. These subcutaneous bronchial autografts (SBA) became vascularized, and they contained viable, histologically normal respiratory epithelium 4 wk after implantation. From 1–3 mo after implantation, 10% methyl-cholanthrene in steroid suspension medium was instilled into 21 SBAs, and 10% methylcholanthrene in a silicone polymer sustained release implant was placed in 22 SBAs. Ten SBAs were left carcinogen free as controls.

SBA contents were examined cytologically at 3-mo intervals. Biopsies were done from 2–32 mo after carcinogen implantation. Progressive preneoplastic changes were noted in all five dogs which received carcinogen. Curetments of five SBAs after 14-mo exposure to methylcholanthrene yielded 104–105 cells from each SBA; 40–70% of the cells obtained were at the same stage of atypical squamous metaplasia. At least one SBA in each dog yielded cancer cells by cytological criteria by 19–29 mo after instillation. Biopsy of a grossly abnormal SBA revealed well-differentiated epidermoid carcinoma at 32 mo.

The multiple SBA method provides isolated portions of canine respiratory epithelium for the study of chemical carcinogenesis and for the production of sizable preneoplastic cell populations.

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This investigation was supported by USPHS Grant CA26529, awarded by the National Cancer Institute, Department of Health and Human Services.

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