Transitional cell carcinoma in fishing cats (Prionailurus viverrinus): Pathology and expression of cyclooxygenase-1, -2, and p53

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A high prevalence of urinary bladder transitional-cell carcinoma (TCC) has been noted in captive fishing cats (Prionailurus viverrinus). Of the 91 adult deaths between 1995 and 2004, 12 (13%) were attributed to TCC. To help elucidate mechanisms of carcinogenesis, archival sections of urinary bladder from 14 fishing cats were examined histologically and immunohistochemically for p53, cyclooxygenase (COX)-1, and COX-2 expression. Ten cats had TCC, and 4 were unaffected. The average age at death was 10.8 years in affected individuals and 10.5 years in unaffected individuals. There was no sex predilection. Fishing cat TCCs were characterized histologically as papillary and infiltrating (n = 6), nonpapillary and infiltrating (n = 3), or carcinoma in situ (n = 1). Glandular and squamous metaplasia, necrosis, and lymphatic invasion were prominent histologic features. Two individuals had documented metastasis. p53 nuclear immunolabeling was detected in 4/10 (40%) TCCs. In two cases, immunolabeling was limited to less than 10% of the neoplastic cellular population and was comparable to staining of normal fishing cat bladder. Therefore, p53 gene mutation did not appear to be an essential component of TCC carcinogenesis in examined fishing cats. COX-1 immunohistochemistry was negative in all cases. All TCCs had some degree of COX-2 cytoplasmic immunolabeling, which was exclusively within the invasive portions of the neoplasms. Papillary portions were uniformly negative. COX-2 overexpression was a prominent feature in the majority of the examined fishing cat TCCs, suggesting that COX-2-mediated mechanisms of carcinogenesis are important in this species and that COX-inhibiting drugs may be of therapeutic benefit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)674-681
Number of pages8
JournalVeterinary pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • COX-1
  • COX-2
  • Cyclooxygenase
  • Fishing cat
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Prionailurus viverranus
  • Transitional-cell carcinoma
  • Urinary bladder
  • p53

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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