Effects of Repeated Anesthesia Containing Urethane on Tumor Formation and Health Scores in Male C57BL/6J Mice.

Rex TS, Boyd K, Apple T, Bricker-Anthony C, Vail K, Wallace J
J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci. 2016 55 (3): 295-9

PMID: 27177562 · PMCID: PMC4865690

Repeated injection of urethane (ethyl carbamate) is carcinogenic in susceptible strains of mice. Most recent cancer studies involving urethane-induced tumor formation use p53(+/-) mice, which lack one copy of the p53 tumor suppressor gene. In contrast, the same protocol elicits at most a single tumor in wildtype C57BL/6 mice. The effect of repeatedly injecting urethane as a component of a ketamine-xylazine anesthetic mixture in the highly prevalent mouse strain C57BL/6 is unknown. Male C57BL/6J mice (n = 30; age, 3 mo) were anesthetized once monthly for 4 mo by using 560 mg/kg urethane, 28 mg/kg ketamine, and 5.6 mg/kg xylazine. The physical health of the mice was evaluated according to 2 published scoring systems. The average body condition score (scale, 1 to 5; normal, 3) was 3.3, 3.3, and 3.4 after the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th injections, respectively. The visual assessment score was 0 (that is, normal) at all time points examined. Within 1 wk after the 4th injection, the mice were euthanized, necropsied, and evaluated histopathologically. No histopathologic findings were noteworthy. We conclude that repeated monthly injection with urethane as a component of an anesthetic cocktail does not cause clinically detectable abnormalities or induce neoplasia in C57BL/6J mice. These findings are important because urethane combined with low-dose ketamine, unlike other anesthetic regimens, allows for accurate recording of neuronal activity in both the brain and retina. Longitudinal neuronal recordings minimize the number of mice needed and improve the analysis of disease progression and potential therapeutic interventions.

MeSH Terms (10)

Anesthetics Animals Carcinogens Ketamine Male Mice Mice, Inbred C57BL Neoplasms Urethane Xylazine

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