Send to

Choose Destination
J Pharm Pharmacol. 2008 Jan;60(1):63-70.

Measurements of rat and mouse gastrointestinal pH, fluid and lymphoid tissue, and implications for in-vivo experiments.

Author information

Department of Pharmaceutics, The School of Pharmacy, University of London, 29/39 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AX, UK.


To use rodent models effectively in in-vivo investigations on oral drug and vaccine delivery, the conditions in the gastrointestinal tract must be understood. Some fundamental information is currently unavailable or incomplete. We have investigated the pH, water content and lymphoid tissue distribution along the gastrointestinal tract, as well as the stomach volume, as these were critical to our investigations on pH-responsive drug delivery and colonic vaccination. The observed values were compared with those in man as an indication of the validity of the rodent model. The mouse stomach pH was 3.0 (fed) and 4.0 (fasted), and the corresponding values in the rat were 3.2 (fed) and 3.9 (fasted). The mean intestinal pH was lower than that in man (<pH 5.2 in the mouse; <pH 6.6 in the rat). This brings into question the use of rodents in investigations on enteric-coated drug carriers targeted to the large intestine/distal gut. The water content in the gastrointestinal tract in the fed and fasted mouse was 0.98+/-0.4 and 0.81+/-1.3 mL, respectively, and in the fed and fasted rat was 7.8+/-1.5 and 3.2+/-1.8 mL. When normalized for body weight, there was more water per kg body weight in the gastrointestinal tracts of the mouse and rat, than in man. The stomach capacity was found to be approximately 0.4 and 3.4 mL for mice and rats, respectively. The low fluid volume and stomach capacity have implications for the testing of solid dosage forms in these animal models. Substantial amounts of lymphoid tissue analogous to small intestinal Peyer's patches were measured in the rat and mouse colon, showing the feasibility of colonic vaccination, a route which might prove to have different applications to the more commonly studied oral vaccines. The existence of lymphoid tissue in the mouse and rat caecum has also been reported.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center