The Influence of Splenectomy on the Induction of Osteogenic Sarcoma in Rabbits

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Following splenectomy, eleven healthy rabbits were given zinc beryllium silicate. Three animals died before sufficient time had elapsed for the production of osteogenic sarcoma. In seven of the remaining eight animals, osteogenic sarcoma developed, while in the eighth new-bone formation was found in the medullary cavity of the long bones at the time of death. This condition the authors have come to recognize as the forerunner of beryllium-induced osteogenic sareoma in rabbits. The incidence of tumor in these rabbits (100 per cent) is definitely higher than the incidence in rabbits in which splenectomy was not performed prior to the injection of beryllium (50 per cent)12.Obviously, further study of a larger number of splenectomized rabbits to which beryllium has been given will be necessary before it can be stated conclusively that the presence of the spleen in a rabbit provides protection against the development of berylium-induced osteogenic sarcoma. Nevertheless, the results of the present study do suggest that this is the case.

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