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Ocular melanoma and mammary mucinous carcinoma in an African lion

Didier Q Cagnini1*, Breno S Salgado23, Juliana L Linardi1, Fabrizio Grandi24, Rafael M Rocha5, Noeme S Rocha12, Carlos R Teixeira1, Fabio Del Piero6 and Julio L Sequeira2

Author affiliations

1 Departamento de Clínica Veterinária, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia, University Estadual Paulista – UNESP, Botucatu, Brazil

2 Departamento de Patologia, Faculdade de Medicina de Botucatu, University Estadual Paulista – UNESP, Botucatu, Brazil

3 Curso de Medicina Veterinária, Fundação de Ensino e Pesquisa de Itajubá – FEPI, Itajubá, Brazil

4 Department of Diagnostic Pathology, Public Veterinary Hospital, Veterinary Service of National Association of Small Animal Clinicians (Anclivepa), São Paulo, SP, Brazil

5 Departamento de Anatomia Patológica, Hospital A.C. Camargo. Fundação Antônio Prudente, São Paulo, Brazil

6 Department of Pathobiological Sciences, Louisiana State University, School of Veterinary Medicine, Baton Rouge, LA, USA

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Citation and License

BMC Veterinary Research 2012, 8:176  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-8-176

Published: 25 September 2012



Reports of neoplasms in Panthera species are increasing, but they are still an uncommon cause of disease and death in captive wild felids. The presence of two or more primary tumor in large felids is rarely reported, and there are no documented cases of ocular melanoma and mammary mucinous carcinoma in African lions.

Case presentation

An ocular melanoma and a mammary mucinous carcinoma are described in an African lion (Panthera leo). The first tumour was histologically characterized by the presence of epithelioid and fusiform melanocytes, while the latter was composed of mucus-producing cells with an epithelial phenotype that contained periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) and Alcian blue staining mucins. Metastases of both tumor were identified in various organs and indirect immunohistochemistry was used to characterize them. Peribiliary cysts were observed in the liver.


This is the first description of these tumor in African lions.

Panthera leo; Ocular neoplasms; Mammary gland; Melanocytic neoplasms; Peribiliary cysts