The sixth report from a series of articles on the methodology of necropsy and organ extraction o laboratory animals is presented. The report describes and illustrates in detail the methodology for sequential and complete necropsy and organ extraction of miniature pigs. Currently, miniature pigs are widely used in biomedical research as laboratory animals, since their anatomical and physiological characteristics are most similar to human ones. Miniature pigs are considered among the basic models for studying stroke, diabetes, organ transplantation, surgical treatment methods, and also used for testing of pharmaceutical products and biomechanical devices. Also, these animals are essential in studies of the structure and physiology of skin, cardiovascular, digestive and urinary systems. The size and weight of minipigs are perfect for modeling of many pathologies. Also they provide a sufficient amount of biomaterial, e.g. nternal organs, blood or other body fluids, for further laboratory researches. This article describes the step-by-step procedure of animal necropsy from preparation, external examination, sampling of mammary glands and skin, sequential opening and examination of the thoracic and abdominal cavities, and to the extraction of separate systems and organs. Possible methods of extracting organs of the oral cavity, thoracic, abdominal and pelvic cavities are described and illustrated, and the fastest, most effective and safe method of extraction of the brain from the cranial cavity is presented. The methods of eye extraction along with the optic nerve and the extraction of muscles and adjacent peripheral nerves are demonstrated. All methods of organ extraction, as well as the sequence of actions described in this article minimize damage of harvested organs and prevent their contamination in order to avoid the formation of some artifacts, which might be found during subsequent histological examination and could lead to conflicting results.
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