[en] The evolution of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation was studied during cancer induction in a model of thymic radiolymphomagenesis in C57BL/Ka mice. During the preneoplastic period, thymuses displayed an increase of the cytochrome c oxidase activity and oxygen consumption together with oxidative DNA damage assessed by the presence of the 8-hydroxydeoxyguanine DNA base modification. These transient changes in mitochondrial functional activity were not observed in thymuses of mice rescued from lymphoma development by a bone marrow graft, suggesting an important role of mitochondria for neoplastic transformation in this model. which might therefore be of interest to test the utilization of antioxidants for the prevention of radiation-induced malignancies. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Inc.