The goal of scientists working in the field of toxicologic pathology is since many years the harmonization of nomenclature and diagnostic criteria for lesions observed in laboratory rats and mice. Initiatives had been started in the late 80s in the United States by the STP (Society of Toxicologic Pathology) and in Europe by the RITA data base group (Registry of Industrial Toxicology Animal-data).
Both initiatives resulted in internationally recognized publications:
- STP: "SSNDC Guides for Toxicologic Pathology"
This is a series of 33 monographs/leaflets, divided by organ or organ system, covering proliferative and non-proliferative lesions mostly in the rat.
- WHO/IARC/RITA: "International Classification of Rodent Tumours Part 1, The Rat"
This is a series of 10 fascicles, each covering an organ system and describing the diagnostic criteria for proliferative lesions in the rat. The fascicles were published between 1992 and 1997.
- WHO/IARC/RITA: "International Classification of Rodent Tumors, The Mouse"
This is a monograph covering all organ systems and describing the diagnostic criteria for proliferative lesions in the mouse. The book was published in 2001.
In the mid 90th the "Joint STPs/ILSI Committee on International Harmonization of Nomenclature and Diagnostic Criteria in Toxicologic Pathology" was established with the objective to coordinate the international activities for the standardization of diagnostic criteria of proliferate lesions in mice and to reconciliate the already published nomenclature of proliferative lesions in rats. Consequently, the "Rat Nomenclature Reconciliation Subcommittee" was formed during the Annual STP meeting 1998 in Vancouver with the goal to eliminate discrepancies existing between the published nomenclature systems and to reach a common consensus. The results were published in 2000 in the Internet:
An electronic version of the RITA/WHO/IARC developments and publications - the Registry Nomenclature Information system (RENI) - is available since 1989 for members of the RITA project.