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).
Link to the publication
Rydén A, Manell E, Biglarnia A, Hedenqvist P, Strandberg G, Ley C, Hansson K, Nyman G, Jensen-Waern M. Nursing and Training of Pigs Used in Renal Transplantation Studies. Lab Anim, 2019 Oct 24 [Online ahead of print]. DOI: 10.1177/0023677219879169