Oncogenicity of rat prostate cells transformed in vitro with cadmium chloride

Arch Toxicol. 1988;61(6):450-6. doi: 10.1007/BF00293691.


Three rat ventral prostate (RVP) cell lines transformed after in vitro treatment with cadmium chloride (CdCl2) and one control untreated cell line were tested for tumorigenicity in newborn rats. All three cadmium-transformed RVP cell lines induced tumors at the site of inoculation in 95-100% of animals. The fibroblastoid RVP56Cd cell line induced sarcomas, whereas the epithelial cell lines RVP47-3G and RVP47-3F produced highly differentiated squamous cell carcinomas. About 20% of animals injected with RVP47-3G developed lung and splenic metastases. The tumors could be further passaged into young rats. The sarcomas had a hyperdiploid modal chromosome number similar to that of the RVP56Cd cell line. Carcinomas induced by the RVP47-3G cell line had a large proportion of stromal metaphases. The modal chromosome number of these carcinomas was in the hypertriploid-hypotetraploid range, similar to that of the parental cell line. These results demonstrate that treatment of RVP cells with CdCl2 in vitro results in neoplastic transformation. Since both fibroblastoid and epithelial prostate cells have undergone transformation, it seems possible that cadmium acted as a carcinogen without cell specificity. The susceptibility of these cells to the carcinogenic effect may be related to their resistance to cadmium. In the process of neoplastic transformation induced by CdCl2 in RVP epithelial cells changes of squamous metaplasia occur, and probably precede acquisition of tumorigenicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Cadmium / toxicity*
  • Cadmium Chloride
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Prostate / cytology
  • Prostate / drug effects*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / ultrastructure
  • Rats


  • Cadmium
  • Cadmium Chloride