Hershey, PA, United States
Hershey, PA, United States

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PubMed | Penn Medicine and Penn State Hershey Medical Center Hershey
Type: | Journal: Veterinary pathology | Year: 2016

Spontaneous age-related lesions of laboratory rabbits are not well documented in the contemporary scientific literature. A retrospective study of diagnostic necropsies of 36 rabbits >2 years of age found a number of common lung lesions. Fibromuscular intimal hyperplasia affected medium and to a lesser extent large pulmonary arteries and was present to a variable extent in all 36 rabbits >2 years of age. The lesions were characterized by fragmentation and/or reduplication of the internal elastic lamina (IEL), proliferation of smoothelin+/alpha-smooth muscle actin (-SMA)+/vimentin- smooth muscle cells and fewer smoothelin-/-SMA+/vimentin+ myofibroblasts, and intimal deposition of collagen without thrombosis, embolism, or evidence of pulmonary hypertension. Pulmonary emphysema, present in 30/36 rabbits, was characterized by the loss of alveolar septa; most affected rabbits did not have clinical signs of respiratory disease. In 8/13 rabbits of the inbred EIII/JC audiogenic strain, we identified a unique syndrome of granulomatous pneumonia containing hyaline brown to gray, globular to ring-like acellular material that was Alcian blue and periodic acid-Schiff positive. The material was immunoreactive for surfactant protein-A and had the ultrastructural appearance of multilamellar vesicles, suggesting a genetic defect in surfactant metabolism. Additionally, we found small benign primary lung tumors (fibropapillomas, 5 rabbits) not previously described. Other findings included heterotopic bone (5 rabbits), subacute to chronic suppurative bronchopneumonia, pyogranulomatous pneumonia with plant material, and pulmonary artifacts from barbiturate euthanasia solution.

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