Martins, T., Matos, A. F., Soares, J. et al. 2022. Comparison of gelatin flavors for oral dosing of C57BL/6J and FVB/N mice. JAALAS 61(1), 89-95.
Precise oral dosing in rodents is usually achieved by intragastric gavage. If performed incorrectly due to technical difficulties, inexperience, or animal resistance, oral gavage may have animal welfare implications such as esophageal and gastric rupture and aspiration. The stress that is induced by this procedure can also lead to confounding results. In several animal models, drug vehicles must be sugar-free, deliver drugs in a specific formulation, and sometimes supply water. Gelatin has all of these properties. The current study aimed to evaluate the use of gelatin vehicles with different sensory features as an alternative to oral gavage. We investigated the time taken by 2 different inbred mouse strains, FVB/N and C57BL/6J, to ingest sugar-free gelatin pellets of varying flavors. Results showed that FVB/N mice took more time to eat the unflavored, strawberry and diet-flavored gelatin pellets than did C57BL/6J mice. Both strains showed low preference for lemon flavor, with the same ingestion times after the second day. This study showed that the C57BL/6J mice are more likely to eat gelatin than are FVB/N mice, and that the 2 strains of mice show a lower preference for lemon flavoring as compared with other flavors. This method of voluntarily oral administration offers an alternative to gavage for studies that use oral dosing studies.