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Lab Anim Sci. 1988 Jun;38(3):296-8.

Effects of cage beddings on microsomal oxidative enzymes in rat liver.

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  • 1Department of Laboratory Animal Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD 20814.


The purpose of the present studies was to evaluate the effects of some commercially available cage beddings on rat liver microsomal cytochrome P-450-dependent drug-metabolizing enzyme, ethylmorphine N-demethylase, and the carcinogen-metabolizing enzyme, benzo(a)pyrene hydroxylase. Sprague-Dawley rats were housed in cages containing cedar chip, corncob or heat-treated pinewood bedding for 3 weeks. Control rats were housed in cages on wire bottom floors containing no bedding material. Rats housed in cages containing cedar chip showed 18, 46 and 49% increases in liver cytochrome P-450 content, ethylmorphine N-demethylase and benzo(a)pyrene hydroxylase activities, respectively. The liver enzyme activities of rats housed in cages containing corncob bedding were similar to those obtained with control rats. In contrast, the pinewood-bedded rats showed a 21% decrease in ethylmorphine N-demethylase activity without affecting cytochrome P-450 content and benzo(a)pyrene hydroxylase activity. Hexobarbital-induced sleep times of the variously bedded rats were similar to those of control animals. These data suggest that the commercial bedding materials differ in their abilities to affect liver microsomal enzymes. Thus, interlaboratory variability in basal enzyme activities reported in the literature may be partly due to bedding materials used in the animal's cages.

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