DAO 61:215-226 (2004)  -  doi:10.3354/dao061215

Squamous cell carcinoma in rudd Scardinius erythrophthalmus: histopathology, ultrastructure, and transmission

Chutima Hanjavanit1, Máire F. Mulcahy2,*

1Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Khon Kaen University, 40002, Thailand
2Department of Zoology, Ecology, and Plant Science, National University of Ireland, Cork, Ireland
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: The histopathology and ultrastructure of a skin neoplasm in rudd Scardinius erythrophthalmus (L.) are described and the neoplasm is diagnosed as squamous cell carcinoma. In the early stage, tumour cells appear singly or in clusters close to the epidermis; then tumour cells are seen in the dermis as epithelial pearls/nests, cords or sheets with central keratin; and with further development of the neoplasm, tumour cells appear as large sheets and masses, enclosing extensive keratinous formations and foci of necrotic cells, infiltrating deeper into the dermis and penetrating the muscle layers. Increasing vascularity and inflammation are associated with all stages of progression. In some cases metastases are observed in the viscera. Electron microscopic examination shows that the neoplastic cells are joined by desmosomes; the cytoplasm contains abundant mitochondria and rough endoplasmic reticulum. The neoplasm was successfully transmitted experimentally to healthy rudd when tumour cells were inoculated subcutaneously. Eight of 19 surviving test fish developed tumour growth at the site of tumour cell injection and/or in a corresponding site on the opposite of the body. One of these 8 fish, which developed a neoplasm, also showed a microscopic internal tumour in the viscera. One of the 19 test fish showed a microscopic tumour in the spleen, even though no skin tumour was visible in this fish. No tumours were found in control fish. In contrast, intraperitoneal injection of tumour cells into healthy rudd did not result in transmission of the neoplasm.


KEY WORDS: Rudd · Squamous cell carcinoma · Transmission · Keratin · Metastasis


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