Modified Tail-clip Blood Collection in Mice
Posted by: admin | January 15, 2009 | 0 Comments
One of the laboratory animal community’s goals is improving blood collection techniques by making them less stressful to the animal and animal handler and making them less dependent on the handler’s technical expertise. A group from the University of Michigan published a description of their modified tail-clip blood collection technique in mice in the May 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science.
During this technique, the distal 1 to 2 mm of the tail was clipped from female ICR mice between 22 to 25 g. The authors used a capillary pipette flushed with EDTA to collect two 20-μl samples from the bleeding end of the tail. Styptic powder (Kwik-stop, ARC Laboratories, Atlanta GA) was applied to the collection site immediately after collection. The authors also state that additional removal of the tail during repeated sample collections was not required. Instead, they removed the scab in order to collect additional samples.
We have not had an opportunity to try this technique as of yet, so we are looking forward to comments from personnel who have utilized it. We were also wondering if it is beneficial to utilize styptic powder with Benzocaine (Oster Pawformance Styptic Powder) to prevent the stinging often associated with styptic powder.
The article is titled “Evaluation of Saphenous Venipuncture and Modified Tail-clip Blood Collection in Mice.” Here is the abstract of the article:
“The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of 2 methods of blood collection in unanesthetized mice. The saphenous venipuncture method was compared with a modified tail-clip technique that requires minimal restraint. Mice were evaluated through behavioral observation and plasma corticosterone levels. The results showed that the 2 methods produced similar corticosterone responses and that the tail-clip method produced fewer behavioral reactions. In addition, the effects of saphenous venipuncture method appeared to be dependent on the handler’s technical expertise. When a series of 4 blood collections were performed over 1 wk, the 2 methods yielded similar corticosterone levels that did not increase over time. Some of the behavioral signs appeared to increase over the series of blood collections obtained by the saphenous venipuncture method. Serial complete blood counts showed that the tail vessels yielded higher total white blood cell, neutrophil, and lymphocyte counts than did the saphenous vein. Neither method appeared to cause stress-associated changes in the leukogram after serial blood collection. Overall, the effects of modified tail-clip method were similar to those of the saphenous venipuncture method in unanesthetized mice.”