Lymphatic leukemia has occurred with great frequency in a particular strain of mice which have been inbred by brother-sister matings since 1921. In addition to typical cases of leukemia are others which, because of the absence of leukemic changes in the blood, correspond to "pseudoleukemia" and others which, by the presence of unusually great enlargement of certain lymph node groups resemble the "leukosarcomatoses" as observed in man.
Examinations of the blood of leukemic mice have shown that leukemic blood pictures are not necessarily early in their appearance, nor are they constant. The blood picture may not, therefore, be used as a criterion for the separation of the two diseases (leukemia and pseudoleukemia) but merely indicates different phases of the same condition. Likewise, cases with lesions intermediate between the local growths of "leukosarcomatosis" and the more general lymphatic enlargements of leukemia suggest that these conditions differ only in the distribution of lesions but not in their nature.
Lymphatic leukemia occurring spontaneously in this strain may be transmitted to other mice of the same strain, and carried, apparently, for an unlimited number of transfers in animals at an earlier age than that at which leukemia occurs spontaneously. In each of 10 such experiments transmissions were obtained. The lesions produced by inoculation correspond to those of spontaneous cases, in that they consist of growths of abnormal lymphoid cells which infiltrate tissues and organs and often appear in the circulating blood. Only minor differences have occurred, some of which are characteristic of certain experimental lines. After repeated transfers, the disease tends to run a more acute course.
Among the cases in which transmissions occurred, are some without leukemic changes in the blood, and many with local growths at the site of inoculation or in certain node groups. The differences in the blood pictures and distribution of lesions (which latter may be influenced to some extent by the method of inoculation) correspond to similar differences which are sometimes observed in the spontaneous cases.