Influence of Metabolic Cage on Wistar Rat Physiological State

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The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of metabolic cage housing on the Wistar rat physiological state and to analyze the correlation between the minerals in blood and urine. Thirty male rats were used in the experiment. Fifteen rats (control group) were housed individually in standard polycarbonate cages and fifteen rats (experimental group) in metabolic cages (Techniplast, Italy) for two weeks. Body weight, respiration rate, water and food consumptions were recorded for each animal at the beginning of the experiment. The same parameters, as well as blood and urine parameters of control and experimental animals were recorded during the experiment after 72 h, 168 h and 336 h of housing in standard cages and metabolic cages. Urine collection was measured only in the experimental group. Rats weight decreased from 3.84 % to 18.59 % (P<0.05), respiration rate from 18.65 % to 24.59 % (P<0.05) when rats were housed in metabolic cages. Consumption of food and water by the rat depended on how long the animal was kept in metabolic cage. Glucose concentration increased on average by 15.37 %, WBC count decreased by 5.83 % in the blood of rats housed in metabolic cages compared to the animals housed in standard cages. We did not observe significant changes of triglycerides concentration, red blood cells count and total protein between all rats. The positive moderate correlation of rat housing in a metabolic cage was between K blood and K urine, P blood and P urine, Na blood and K blood, between Na urine and P urine and significant negative moderate correlation was determined between K urine and P urine. These present study findings indicate that metabolism cage housing significantly affects rat’s physiological parameters and potentially may influence animal health and wellbeing.

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