N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU), a highly potent carginogen, is widely used to generate mammary tumours in murine species. In a model of MNU-induced mammary carcinogenesis using immature female Sprague-Dawley rats, large mammary tumours (largest dimension >= 0.5 cm) were obtained within a very short period of time. In addition, in the rats bearing MNU-induced mammary carcinomas, there were a number of tumours whose origins were not from mammary tissue but from several different tissues and from mammary non-epithelial tissue. The tumours were of mesenchymal or epithelial origin and they were located in the inguinal region. These tumours were diagnosed as fibroadenoma, combined tubular adenoma and fibroadenoma, hyperkeratotic papilloma, keratinous cyst and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumour (MPNST) with smooth muscle differentiation. The occurrence of these other tumours in addition to the development of the mammary carcinomas may be attributed to a direct local effect of the intraperitoneal administration of MNU during the sexual development of the immature rats. In the MNU-induced mammary tumour model, coexistence of tumourigenesis in various non-mammary tissues should be considered an important factor that may interfere with experimental procedures and results and also the quality of life of the tumour-bearing animals.