Silva-Reis, R., Faustino-Rocha, A. I., Gonçalves, M. et al. 2021. Refinement of animal model of colorectal carcinogenesis through the definition of novel humane endpoints. Animals 11(4), 985.
This study aimed to define appropriate humane endpoints (HEs) for an animal model of colorectal carcinogenesis (CRC). Twenty-nine male Wistar rats were divided into two control groups (CTRL1 and CTRL2) injected with ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA)–saline solutions and two induced groups (CRC1 and CRC2) injected with 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH) for seven weeks. A score sheet with 14 biological parameters was used to assess animal welfare. Groups CRC1 and CTRL1 and groups CRC2 and CTRL2 were euthanized 11 and 17 weeks after the first DMH administration, respectively. Five animals from the induced groups died unexpectedly during the protocol (survival rates of 75.0% and 66.7% for groups CRC1 and CRC2, respectively). The final mean body weight (BW) was smaller in the CRC groups when compared with that in the CTRL groups. A uniformity of characteristics preceding the premature animals’ death was observed, namely an increase of 10% in mean BW, swollen abdomen, diarrhea, and priapism. The surface abdominal temperature of group CRC2 was significantly higher, when compared with that of group CTRL2. The parameters already described in other cancer models proved to be insufficient. For the CRC model, we considered assessing the abdominal temperature, priapism, and sudden increase in the BW.