Open Access

Incidence of Spontaneous Ocular Lesions in Laboratory Rabbits

Authors: Holve, Dana L1; Mundwiler, Karen E2; Pritt, Stacy L3

Source: Comparative Medicine, Volume 61, Number 5, October 2011 , pp. 436-440(5)

Publisher: American Association for Laboratory Animal Science

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Abstract:

Laboratory rabbits are commonly used for ocular drug and device studies. The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of spontaneous ocular lesions in laboratory rabbits with respect to sex, breed, and supplier. We retrospectively evaluated ophthalmic examination records of rabbits screened between April 2008 and April 2010. These 1840 records represented 572 black Dutch belted (DB), 1022 New Zealand white (NZW), and 246 NZW × New Zealand red F1 crosses (WRF1). Rabbits were between 6 and 16 wk of age and had been received from 5 suppliers. Ocular structures evaluated were the cornea, lens, iris and vitreous with respect to sex, breed and supplier. A total of 177 rabbits (9.6%) and 233 eyes (6.3%) were effected. Of total rabbits, 15.3% males and 7.3% females were affected. The most common structure affected was the cornea in 5.7% of rabbits, (DB 11.7%, NZW 3.0%, and NZR 3.3%). The lens at 3.6% was second most common (DB 2.1%, NZW 4.6%, and NZR 3.3%). Both iris (0.2%) and vitreous (0.3%) were not significantly affected. Significant sex-breeder-supplier combinations were: cornea DB supplier D, supplier D females, supplier D males, DB males and NZR females; and lens: NZW females; and at least one affected ocular structure: NZW supplier D, supplier D females, DB males, NZW females, and NZR females. Breed, sex, and supplier were significant variables of ocular lesions in laboratory rabbits. Investigators should consider each of these variables when choosing rabbits for ocular studies.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Eye Care for Animals, Tustin, California, USA 2: Biological Test Center, Irvine, California, USA 3: Absorption Systems, San Diego, California, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2011

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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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