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Q J Exp Physiol Cogn Med Sci. 1980 Jan;65(1):63-75.

A new technique for maintaining and monitoring conscious, stress-free rabbits in a steady state: its use in the determination of glucose kinetics.


1. A new technique is described for maintaining and monitoring conscious rabbits in a steady state. Solutions were infused and blood samples were withdrawn without major surgery and without causing stress. Cannulation, for infusion and blood sampling, was via the ear veins and arteries. 2. The validity of the technique is discussed with special reference to: the amount of blood removed from the animal; the use of a plasma substitute solution; the use of heparin; and assessing whether the animal was in a steady-state with respect to glucose. 3. The technique was used to determine glucose kinetics in the fasted rabbit after an injection of [2-(3)H]glucose with subsequent blood sampling over 2 h. A two compartment model was used to calculate certain physiological values, the two principal ones being the glucose uptake rate (3.30 +/- 0.24 (13) and the initial volume of distribution (74.8 +/- 7.8 (13) 4. The accuracy and precision of the results obtained from this study are discussed and shown to be more reliable than other published values.

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