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Open Access Effects of Short-Term Fasting in Male Sprague–Dawley Rats

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Fasting is a common procedure for animals in experiments. Although fasting may be necessary for scientific reasons, it should be minimized. In the current study, jugular-catheterized male Sprague–Dawley rats in metabolism cages were fasted for 0 to 24 h before measurement of various physiologic markers (serum chemistry, CBC analysis, serum corticosterone). When controlled for cohort, rats fasted for 6 and 16 h had significantly lower serum glucose than did nonfasted rats. Other values did not differ from controls. Only rats fasted for 24 h had elevated serum corticosterone levels. Therefore, fasting for as long as 16 h has fewer effects on rats that does fasting for 24 h. Fasting for 24 h or more therefore should receive appropriate consideration by both scientists and the IACUC in the experimental design and the animal-use protocol.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. [email protected] 2: Division of Veterinary Resources, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA 3: Laboratory Animal Veterinary Consultant, Schwenksville, Pennsylvania, USA

Publication date: 2011-04-01

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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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