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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 473964, 14 pages
Review Article

Morphological and Molecular Alterations in 1,2 Dimethylhydrazine and Azoxymethane Induced Colon Carcinogenesis in Rats

Institute of Pathology, Medical Experimental Centre, Medical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Korytkova 2, 1105 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Received 14 September 2010; Revised 30 October 2010; Accepted 29 November 2010

Academic Editor: Andrea Vecchione

Copyright © 2011 Martina Perše and Anton Cerar. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The dimethyhydrazine (DMH) or azoxymethane (AOM) model is a well-established, well-appreciated, and widely used model of experimental colon carcinogenesis. It has many morphological as well as molecular similarities to human sporadic colorectal cancer (CC), which are summarized and discussed in this paper. In addition, the paper combines present knowledge of morphological and molecular features in the multistep development of CC recognized in the DMH/AOM rat model. This understanding is necessary in order to accurately identify and interpret alterations that occur in the colonic mucosa when evaluating natural or pharmacological compounds in DMH/AOM rat colon carcinogenesis. The DMH/AOM model provides a wide range of options for investigating various initiating and environmental factors, the role of specific dietary and genetic factors, and therapeutic options in CC. The limitations of this model and suggested areas in which more research is required are also discussed.