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Lab Anim Sci. 1985 Aug;35(4):376-81.

Laboratory assessment of hepatic injury in the woodchuck (Marmota monax).


Normal reference values for total serum protein, albumin, cholesterol, alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), sorbitol dehydrogenase (SDH), gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT), alkaline phosphatase (AP), and total bilirubin were established in 48 clinically healthy woodchucks. To validate the use of these biochemical tests in the woodchuck for assessment of liver injury, carbon tetrachloride was administered to produce hepatocellular necrosis and the common bile duct was surgically occluded to produce cholestasis. Biochemical tests were performed prior to experimental treatment and thereafter in surviving woodchucks for a period of 6 weeks. There were marked increases in the serum activities of AST, ALT, and SDH following carbon tetrachloride administration and all 3 enzymes appeared to be useful markers of acute hepatocellular injury. The predominate biochemical abnormalities in woodchucks with bile duct obstruction were hyperbilirubinemia, hypercholesterolemia and increased serum AP and GGT activities. The increase of GGT occurred earlier following bile duct obstruction and the magnitude of increase was greater than that of AP, suggesting that GGT would be the preferred serum enzyme test in the woodchuck for assessment of cholestatic liver injury.

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