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Open Access Effects of Water Dilution, Housing, and Food on Rat Urine Collected from the Metabolism Cage

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The objective of the study reported here was to investigate three factors that may affect the amounts of water consumed and urine excreted by a rat in the metabolism cage: water dilution, housing, and food. Young F344/N rats (eight per group) were used for all experiments. Food was withheld from rats before each 16-h urine collection, then rats were transferred into a metabolism cage. For trial A (water dilution), urine was collected from rats supplied with dyed water (0.05%, vol/vol). This was repeated three times over a 2-week period. Dye in water or urine was quantified, using a spectrophotometer. For trial B (housing), rats were individually housed in wire cages for 3 weeks before the first urine collection. Then they were group housed in the solid-bottom cage (four per cage). After 2 weeks of acclimation, urine collection was repeated. For trial C (food), one group of rats was provided with food, the other was not, during urine collection. About 8% of urine samples of small volume (≤3 ml) from trial A were contaminated with drinking water up to 13% of volume. The average urine volume associated with individual housing was approximately twice as large as that associated with group housing. When food was provided during urine collection, rats consumed similar amounts of water but excreted significantly smaller amounts of urine than did rats without food. It was concluded that water dilution of a urine sample from a sipper bottle is relatively small; rats individually housed in wire caging before urine collection can consume and excrete a larger quantity of water, compared with rats group housed in solid-bottom cages; and highly variable urine volumes are, in part, associated with lack of access to food during urine collection.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Battelle, Preclinical Drug Development-Northwest Operations, Richland, Washington, Battelle, PCDD-NWO, MS K4-10, P.O. Box 999, Richland, WA 99352 2: Battelle, Preclinical Drug Development-Northwest Operations, Richland, Washington

Publication date: October 1, 1998

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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