Effect of temperature control upon a mouse model of partial hepatic ischaemia/reperfusion injury

L. Devey, M. F. W. Festing, S. J. Wigmore

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In vivo models of hepatic ischaemia/reperfusion injury (IRI) are widely used to study both the mechanisms of hepatic ischaemic injury and to seek means of hepatic protection. Achieving high-quality reproducible data are essential if the results of multiple studies are to be compared and reconciled. This paper presents our findings concerning the effect of intraoperative thermoregulation upon signal to noise ratios of hepatic IRI experiments in mice. Four experiments were conducted, using three different strategies for core temperature maintenance. Animals underwent hepatic IRI and euthanized 24 h postoperatively for measurement of plasma alanine aminotransferase (ALT). Duration of ischaemia was used to adjust the severity of injury. Experiment I utilized a constant output heating system and resulted in rising postoperative ALTs following increasing durations of hepatic ischaemia. Experiment 2, using the same constant output heating system confirmed a difference between ischaemic and sham-operated animals. Experiment 3 used a thermostatically controlled heating system and resulted in highly variable results with a small, but statistically significant correlation between ALT levels and rectal temperature readings. Experiment 4 used a homeothermic warming system and demonstrated highly reproducible data from increasing durations of ischaemia. High-quality data from hepatic ischaemia/reperfusion models are dependent upon careful control of intraoperative temperature. The use of homeothermic warming systems is recommended and conversely, the use of thermostatically controlled warming mats is to be avoided in these models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-18
Number of pages7
JournalLaboratory Animals
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008


  • Liver transplantation
  • liver resection
  • ischaemia/reperfusion injury
  • thermoregulation


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