Development of an experimental albino rat (Rattus norvegicus) model for studies on sub-acute blood loss anaemia

  • JI Ihedioha
  • G Daniel-Igwe


The objective of this study was to develop an experimental albino rat (Rattus norvegicus) model for studies on sub-acute blood loss anaemia. A total of 160 albino rats of either sexes, between the ages of 10 and 12 weeks were used for the study. One hundred and thirty of the rats were randomly assigned into thirteen groups (groups 1 – 13) of ten each for the first experiment. Baseline values of the haematological indices were determined before the commencement of the study. Rats in group 1 were not bled and served as control. Blood (1 or 2 ml/100g body weight) was removed for specified periods of time from the remaining 12 groups (groups 2 – 13). At the end of the specified period of bleeding for each group, the haematological indices were re-assessed in order to select which group met the target of halving the red blood cell (RBC) count,  haemoglobin concentration (Hb) and packed cell volume (PCV) with  minimal stress. The selected group was tested for reproducibility in experiment 2 using the remaining thirty rats randomly assigned into three groups (A, B and C). Results showed that in experiment 1, the PCV, Hb and RBC counts of the rat groups that were bled (groups 2 – 13)  decreased significantly (p<0.05) after bleeding to varying degrees across the groups based on the volume of blood removed and the duration. Among all the rat groups bled, males of group 12 which were bled  2ml/100g body weight every other day for 20 days ranked topmost among others with the highest reductions in the RBC counts (46.62%), Hb (55.25%) and PCV (46.20%), and no mortality. The results recorded for the two rat groups bled in experiment 2 did not significantly (p>0.05) differ from each other and from that recorded in experiment 1 for the group 12 male rats. Based on the results of the study, removal of 2ml of  blood/100g body weight from 10 – 12 weeks old male albino rats every
other day for 20 days was recommended for the induction of experimental sub-acute blood loss anaemia.

Keywords: Anaemia, Sub-acute blood loss, Albino rat, Rattus norvegicus, Model


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eISSN: 1597-3115