Rydén, A., Manell, E., Biglarnia, A. et al. 2020. Nursing and training of pigs used in renal transplantation studies. Laboratory Animals 54(5), 469-478.

The pig is commonly used in renal transplantation studies since the porcine kidney resembles the human kidney. To meet the requirements of intense caretaking and examination without stress, a 2-week socialisation and training programme was developed. Conventional cross-breed pigs (n = 36) with high health status were trained for 15 min/day in a four-step training programme before kidney transplantation. The systematic training resulted in calm animals, which allowed for ultrasound examination, blood sampling and urine sampling without restraint. When a 2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine polymer-coated jugular catheter introduced via the auricular vein was used for post-operative blood sampling, clotting was avoided. To assess renal function, urinary output was observed and creatinine and cystatin C were measured; the latter was not found to be useful in recently transplanted pigs. The results presented contribute to the 3Rs (refine, reduce, replace).

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