Variability of blood biochemical parameters and establishment of reference intervals in preclinical studies. Part 2: rabbit

N.G. Voitenko, M.N. Makarova, M.A. Kovaleva



The data of the biochemical analysis are the reference for most of the preclinical studies. The establishment and revision of reference ranges of biochemical indicators for all types of used laboratory animals is an important task for each testing center. In the Russian Federation, rabbits are widely used for various studies, for example, the study of the general toxic properties of original drugs, or long-acting drugs, the study of the specific activity of drugs used for the treatment of the visual organs and the musculoskeletal system, etc. Despite the sufficient study of the species as a whole, Russian periodicals present a limited amount of data on the reference intervals of biochemical indicators. Our test center has accumulated a data bank of such indicators that were determined in multiple-dose toxicity studies, which allowed us to conduct a retrospective analysis and review the available reference intervals. The calculation was based on observation data obtained in the period from January 2018 to December 2019. The determination of biochemical parameters in this period of time was carried out on the same equipment using the same methods. A retrospective analysis of the data was performed on 13 biochemical parameters of blood serum of three breeds of rabbits – New Zealand, chinchilla, white giant. The sample consisted of 127 females and 127 males, the age of the animals in the studies was 16–25 weeks (the weight of the animals was 3–5 kg). The article presents reference intervals for creatinine, urea, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, cholesterol, triglycerides, total protein, albumin, globulin, glucose, total bilirubin, and the albumin/globulin ratio. The necessity of creating intra-laboratory databases of reference intervals in each test center is justified. Interindividual variability was calculated for the specified biochemical parameters. The greatest inter-individual variability (more than 30%) was found for such indicators as alkaline phosphatase, triglycerides, cholesterol and total bilirubin. The use of retrospective data analysis allows us to implement the principles of 3Rs and get more correct data on a larger sample of laboratory animals. The analysis of the reference intervals obtained by us in comparison with the literature data, in general, showed their comparability, which can be considered as an additional confirmation of the satisfaction of the established intra-laboratory standards.

Authors’ сontributions

Natalya.G. Voitenko – idea, planning, design development, collection and systematisation of material, writing and revising the text.

Marina N. Makarova – idea, design development.

Mariya A. Kovaleva – analysis and interpretation of results, writing and revising the text


Full text avaliable in Russain only

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest requiring disclosure in this article.


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