Colonoscopy in mice

E. H. Huang, J. J. Carter, R. L. Whelan, Y. H. Liu, J. O. Rosenberg, H. Rotterdam, A. M. Schmidt, D. M. Stern, K. A. Forde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Introduction: Current investigational models of murine colitis and colon cancer necessitate sacrifice of animals in order to obtain colonic tissue. The purpose of this study was to develop a safe method of murine colonoscopy that would allow serial evaluation and mucosal biopsies of the same animal. Methods: Nine mice (two C3H, two C57/BL6, and five IL-10 deficient) were studied a total of four times each over 4 weeks. Three mice [APC (Min ±) were examined three times each. Mice were gavaged with 1 cc of a polyethylene glycol solution on the day prior to colonoscopy. Solid chow was withheld and the mice were maintained on Pedialyte. Mice were anesthetized with ketamine and xylazine. A flexible pediatric cystoscope (2.1-mm diameter) with a single biopsy channel was introduced per anum, and the colon was gently insufflated with air to a mean pressure of less than 5 mmHg. Saline irrigation was used when necessary. A single biopsy was obtained from the rectosigmoid colon during each examination. Results: A total of 46 examinations were carried out. One mouse died after being anesthesized for the fourth examination, and two mice [one IL-10 knockout and one APC (Min±)] died one day after the 3rd examination. No other complications were noted. The average length of insertion was 3 cm. Transillumination allowed for localization of the endoscope tip. Biopsies, although quite small, were sufficient for pathologic evaluation and diagnosis. Conclusions: Murine colonoscopy is a safe and feasible technique. It permits consecutive visual and histopathological examinations, and it allows the investigator to monitor the response of the murine colon to experimental interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-24
Number of pages3
JournalSurgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Colonoscopy
  • Mouse
  • Murine
  • Small animal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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