QuickTime movies of some aspects of this method have been placed here. Methods now result in uniformly prolonged survival to ten months. Christopher Silvers participated in expanding this method to ten simultaneous systems. Images and movies of this enhancement are provided.
Objectives. To develop a method for chronic cannulation of the mouse bladder that would enable repeated intravesical drug delivery and measurement of voiding patterns in unrestrained mice under controlled infusion conditions.
Methods. Fifteen female mice were anesthetized with halothane and implanted with a 3F polyurethane bladder catheter. The catheter exited from the back through mesh and a polysulfone button into a spring coil
that protected the catheter and tethered the mouse. A counterbalanced swivel and infusion pump permitted unencumbered mobility during continuous intravesical perfusion.
Results. Patent catheterization was consistently achieved for at least 5 weeks. The voiding patterns produced with an infusion pump were stable not only within a study session but also during the course of
several weeks. The catheters remained patent but eventually withdrew from the bladder in 9 mice, at which point the mice were killed. The mesh eventually emerged from the skin in 4 animals without evidence of infection and was associated with catheter leakage at the level of mesh exposure. The subcutaneous
placement of the mesh and tether assembly adequately transferred torque to the swivel without catheter obstruction. One mouse died unexpectedly during anesthesia; another was killed 1 week after catheter implantation because of an intraperitoneal leak. No bladder stones were identified. The results of the urine cultures were inconclusive.
Conclusions. Continuous, patent catheterization of the murine bladder can be achieved consistently for a period of 5 weeks. When used in combination with counterbalanced swivel assemblies and electronic balance technology, these methods permit prolonged evaluation of micturition patterns in the awake, ambulatory mouse.
This study was supported by the University of Rochester Departments of Urology and Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Interstitial Cystitis Association, and NIH grants DA05080 (R.W.W.) and DK057679 (E.S.). E. Schwarz and E. Messing were supported in part by a research grant from the Fishbein Family Interstitial Cystitis Research Foundation.
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