Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of California, Irvine (UCI)
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Beeton, C., Garcia, A., Chandy, K. G. Drawing Blood from Rats through the Saphenous Vein and by Cardiac Puncture. J. Vis. Exp. (7), e266, doi:10.3791/266 (2007).
Drawing blood from rodents is necessary for a large number of both in vitro and in vivo studies. Sites of blood draws are numerous in rodents: retro-orbital sinus, jugular vein, maxillary vein, saphenous vein, heart. Each technique has its advantages and disadvantages, and some are not approved any more in some countries (e.g., retro-orbital draws in Holland). A discussion of different techniques for drawing blood are available 1-3. Here, we present two techniques for drawing blood from rats, each with its specific applications.
Blood draw from the saphenous vein, provided it is done properly, induces minimal distress in animals and does not require anesthesia. This technique allows repeated draws of small amounts of blood, such as needed for pharmacokinetic studies 4,5, determining plasma chemistry, or blood counts 6.
Cardiac puncture allows the collection of large amounts of blood from a single animal (up to 10 ml of blood can be drawn from a 150 g rat). This technique is therefore very useful as a terminal procedure when drawing blood from the saphenous would not provide a large enough sample. We use cardiac puncture when we need sufficient amounts of serum from a specific strain of rats to grow T lymphocyte lines in vitro 4-9.
Drawing Blood from Rats through the Saphenous Vein and by Cardiac Puncture
Note: All procedures must be approved by your institute's animal care and use committee.
1. Blood draw from the saphenous vein
2. Blood draw by cardiac puncture
Drawing blood from the saphenous vein is a convenient way to get small amounts of blood without anesthesia. If repeated sampling is required, check regulations to ensure you do not draw too much blood from one rat.
Drawing blood by cardiac puncture is a convenient way to get large amounts of blood but this is a terminal procedure. The animal must be euthanized at the end of the blood draw.
These techniques (as all techniques on live animals) should be first done in the presence of a veterinarian or a veterinary technician who will be able to assess that animals are handled properly and are not subjected to unnecessary pain and/or distress.
|Needle 20G 1/2||Tool||BD Biosciences||305176||For puncturing the saphenous vein|
|Microvette 300||Tool||Sarstedt Ltd||20.1308.100||To collect blood from the saphenous vein|
|Electric trimmer||Tool||Braintree Scientific, Inc.||CLP-32130|
|Needle 23 G 1||Tool||BD Biosciences||305145||For cardiac puncture|
|5 ml plastic syringe, slip tip||Tool||Fisher Scientific||14-826-12||For cardiac puncture|
1. Van Herck, H., Baumans, V., Brandt, C.J.W.M., Boere, H.A.G., Hesp, A.P.M., Van Lith, H.A., Schurink, M., Beynen, A.C. Blood sampling from the retro-orbital plexus, the saphenous vein and the tail vein in rats: comparative effects on selected behavioural and blood variables. Laboratory Animals. 35, 131-139 (2001).
2. Luzzi, M., Skoumbourdis, E., Baumans, V., Conte, A., Sherwin, C., Kerwin, A., Lang, T., Morton, D., Barley, J., Moreau, E., Weilenmann, R.F., Reinhardt, V. Collecting blood from rodents: a discussion by the laboratory animal refinement and enrichment forum. Animal Technology and Welfare. 4, 99-102 (2005).
3. Angelow, O., Schroer, R.A., Heft, S., James, V.C., Noble, J. A comparison of two methods of bleeding rats: the venous plexus of the eye versus the vena sublingualis. Jounal of Applied Toxicology. 4: 258-260 (2006).
4. Beeton C., Wulff H., Barbaria J., Clot-Faybesse O., Pennington M., Bernard D., Cahalan M.D., Chandy K.G., Beraud E. Selective blockade of T lymphocyte K+ channels ameliorates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, a model for multiple sclerosis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 98:13942-13947 (2001).
5. Beeton C., Pennington M.W., Wulff, H., Singh S., Nugent D., Crossley G., Khaytin I., Chen C.Y., Calabresi P.A., Chandy K.G. Targeting effector memory T cells with a selective peptide inhibitor of Kv1.3 channels for therapy of autoimmune diseases. Mol. Pharmacol. 67:1369-1381 (2005)
6. Beeton C.,Wulff H., Standifer N.E., Azam P., Mullen K.M., Pennington M.W., Kolski-Andreaco A., Wei E., Grino A., Counts D.R., Wang P.H., LeeHealey C.J., Andrews B.S., Sankaranarayanan A., Homerick D., Roeck W.W., Tehranzadeh J., Stanhope K.L., Zimin P., Havel P.J., Griffey S., Knaus H.G., Nepom G.T., Gutman G.A., Calabresi P.A., Chandy K.G. Kv1.3 channels are a therapeutic target for T cell mediated autoimmune diseases. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 103:17414-17419 (2006).
7. Beeton C., Barbaria J., Devaux J., Benoliel A.-M., Gola M., Sabatier J.-M., Bernard D., Crest M., Beraud E. Selective blocking of voltage-gated K+ channels treats experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and inhibits T-cell activation. J. Immunol. 166:936-944 (2001).
8. Devaux J., Forni C., Beeton C., Barbaria J., Beraud E., Gola M., Crest M. Myelin basic protein-reactive T cells induce conduction failure in vivo but not in vitro. Neuroreport 14:317-320 (2003).
9. Beeton C., Chandy K.G. Induction and monitoring of adoptive delayed type hypersensitivity in rats, Journal of Visualized Experiments, 8, http://www.jove.com/index/Details.stp?ID=325 (2007).