Adrenal medullary tumors and iris proliferation in a transgenic mouse model of neurofibromatosis

Jeffrey E. Green, Andrea M. Baird, Steven H. Hinrichs, Gordon K. Klintworth, Gilbert Jay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The expression of the human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) tax gene in transgenic mice has been shown to result in the development of neurofibromas. 1 Further characterization of these transgenic mice has revealed other significant pathologic similarities between this transgenic mouse model and human neurofibromatosis (NF). Pheochromocytomas of the adrenal medulla and hamartomas of the iris are well-recognized manifestations of human NF. Adrenal medullary tumors have been found in 68% of transgenic animals that were studied. They appear, however, not to be pheochromocytomas, but rather composed of undifferentiated spindle cells. Proliferation of fibroblastlike cells in the iris also occurs in one-half of the transgenic animals surviving more than 6 months. Melanocytes, however, have not been found in the transgenic iris lesion, although they are characteristically found in the Lisch nodules of human NF. The similarities between human neurofibromatosis and this transgenic mouse model (in which the overexpression of a single gene results in neoplasia) are discussed. This transgenic system may provide further insights into molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of neurofibromatosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1401-1410
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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