Bleeding the Laboratory Mouse: Not All Methods are Equal - Exp. Hematology, 2015, Epub ahead of print

G-CSF / Transplantation


The laboratory mouse is the most frequently used animal model for hematologic studies and for assessment of blood parameters across a broad range of disciplines. Often, analysis of blood occurs in a non-terminal manner. However, the small body size of the mouse limits collection based upon volume, frequency, and accessible sites. Commonly used sites in the mouse include the retro-orbital sinus, facial vein, tail vein, saphenous vein, and heart. The method of blood acquisition varies considerably across laboratories and is often not reported in detail. In this study, we report significant alterations in blood parameters, particularly of total white blood cells, specific populations of dendritic cells and myeloid derived suppressor cells, and hematopoietic progenitor cells as a result of site and manner of sampling. Intriguingly, warming of mice prior to tail bleeding was shown to significantly alter blood values. Our findings suggest that the same method should be used across an entire study, that warming of mice prior to tail bleeds should be done to uniform levels, and that accurate description of bleeding methods in publications should be provide to allow for interpretation of comparative reports and inter- and intra-laboratory experimental variability.

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