Ringtail in suckling Munich Wistar Fromter rats: A histopathologic study

L. Crippa, A. Gobbi, R. M. Ceruti, C. B. Clifford, A. Remuzzi, E. Scanziani

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Ringtail is a pathologic condition of the tail of rats and other rodents that is traditionally attributed to low environmental humidity, although dietary deficiencies, genetic susceptibility, environmental temperature, and degree of hydration of the animal also have been suggested as possible causes. To the authors' knowledge, a detailed histopathologic study that may serve to shed light on the etiopathogenesis of this disease has not yet been published. We describe the histologic findings of ringtail observed in 12 suckling Munich Wistar Fromter (MWF) rats from two litters. Epidermal hyperplasia characterized by orthokeratotic and parakeratotic hyperkeratosis and acanthosis was observed in all affected rats. Numerous often dilated vessels were present in the dermis of tails that appeared of red/brown color at gross examination. In severe cases, the dilated vascular structures were thrombotic and accompanied by dermal hemorrhages and focal coagulative necrosis of the overlying epidermis. These findings suggest that epidermal acanthosis and hyperkeratosis are the main and primary events in the development of ringtail. To clarify the cause of this disease, future studies should be focused on the numerous factors that can induce such epidermal changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)536-539
Number of pages4
JournalComparative Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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