Multiple cystic sweat gland tumors in transgenic mice

Comp Med. 2012 Feb;62(1):27-30.


Here we describe gross and microscopic sweat gland tumors found in a transgenic mouse model of breast cancer, which had transforming growth factor α under the control of mouse mammary tumor virus promoter (MMTV-TGFα). Initially, 20% of the mice in the colony were affected. Cystic lesions formed on the phalanges, palmar surfaces of the metacarpals, and plantar surfaces of the metatarsals. The lesions were multifocal and nonulcerated with straw-colored fluid, ranging in size from 1 to 30 mm at the largest dimension. The colony was monitored for 6 mo; during that time, the prevalence of lesions increased to 52% of the mice. Histologically, in most cases the cyst walls were lined by 1 or 2 layers of normal-appearing epithelial cells that resembled basal cells, indicating adenoma. However, 2 cysts from 2 different mice had papillary proliferative projections and extensive disorganized glandular structures that protruded into the cyst cavities, indicating adenocarcinoma. In these 2 cases, the neoplastic cells revealed architectural and cytologic atypia with rare mitoses. Similar findings have previously been observed in sweat gland tumors; however, multiple sweat-gland tumors have not been reported in mice.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / epidemiology
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Cysts / epidemiology
  • Cysts / pathology*
  • Extremities / pathology*
  • Female
  • Mammary Tumor Virus, Mouse / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Prevalence
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics
  • Sweat Gland Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Sweat Gland Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Transforming Growth Factor alpha / genetics
  • Transforming Growth Factor alpha / metabolism


  • Transforming Growth Factor alpha