BACKGROUND: Objective of this study is a feasibility-test comparing hock- and footpad-injection in rats with inoculated MatLyLu - adenocarcinoma tumor model. This study compares the development of an adenocarcinoma model (MatLyLu) in 12 Copenhagen rats. Two groups (n = 6) of animals were inoculated with 1 × 106 MatLyLu tumor cells solved in 0.1 ml NaCl either by footpad or hock injection. All animals were examined before tumor inoculation and before euthanasia using a 3.0 Tesla MRI. Histological evaluation of all organs was performed post mortem.
RESULTS: Both types of injection were able to induce the adenocarcinoma model using MatLyLu tumor cells. The primary tumor could be visualized in MRI and confirmed histologically. Comparing the risk of reflux and the maximum injection volume during injection, the hock injection was superior to the footpad injection (less reflux, less anatomical restrictions for larger volumes). The hock injection induces a faster tumor growth compared to the footpad injection. As consequence the maximum level of long term discomfort after hock injection was reached earlier, even if it grew on a not weight bearing structure. Early lymph node tumor metastasis could not be observed macroscopically nor detected histologically. Therefore the reproducibility of the MatLyLu tumor model is questionable.
CONCLUSION: Hock injection is a feasible alternative technique compared with footpad-injection in rats. It provides a save and easy injection method for various early-terminated applications with the potential to increase animal welfare during tumor models in rats.