Carotid Catheterization and Automated Blood Sampling Induce Systemic IL-6 Secretion and Local Tissue Damage and Inflammation in the Heart, Kidneys, Liver and Salivary Glands in NMRI Mice

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Automated blood sampling through a vascular catheter is a frequently utilized technique in laboratory mice. The potential immunological and physiological implications associated with this technique have, however, not been investigated in detail. The present study compared plasma levels of the cytokines IL-1β, IL-2, IL-6, IL-10, IL-17A, GM-CSF, IFN-γ and TNF-α in male NMRI mice that had been subjected to carotid artery catheterization and subsequent automated blood sampling with age-matched control mice. Body weight and histopathological changes in the surgical area, including the salivary glands, the heart, brain, spleen, liver, kidneys and lungs were compared. Catheterized mice had higher levels of IL-6 than did control mice, but other cytokine levels did not differ between the groups. No significant difference in body weight was found. The histology revealed inflammatory and regenerative (healing) changes at surgical sites of all catheterized mice, with mild inflammatory changes extending into the salivary glands. Several catheterized mice had multifocal degenerative to necrotic changes with inflammation in the heart, kidneys and livers, suggesting that thrombi had detached from the catheter tip and embolized to distant sites. Thus, catheterization and subsequent automated blood sampling may have physiological impact. Possible confounding effects of visceral damage should be assessed and considered, when using catheterized mouse models.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0166353
JournalP L o S One
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2016

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