The role of ultraviolet radiation in the induction of melanocytic skin tumors in inbred mice

Cancer Commun. 1989;1(4):209-16.


The purpose of these studies was to determine whether ultraviolet radiation contributes to the induction of cutaneous melanocytic tumors in mice. At 4 days of age, C3H/HeNCr(MTV-) mice received an initiating dose of 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene, followed by twice weekly applications of croton oil. Of the mice treated with this protocol, 31% developed melanoma. The addition of chronic doses of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) to the carcinogen treated site dramatically accelerated the development of the melanomas. Substituting UVR for the initiator or the promoter in this two-stage carcinogenesis model resulted in the development of a few melanocytic tumors (less than 10%). These experiments demonstrate that UVR accelerated the development of cutaneous melanocytic tumors induced in mice by chemical carcinogens and participated in the induction of these tumors by serving as a weak initiator or promoter.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 9,10-Dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene
  • Animals
  • Croton Oil
  • Female
  • Male
  • Melanocytes / radiation effects*
  • Melanoma, Experimental / pathology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / pathology*
  • Sex Factors
  • Skin Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Skin Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ultraviolet Rays*


  • 9,10-Dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene
  • Croton Oil