Journal of Immunology Research / 2012 / Article / Tab 1

Review Article

The Suckling Rat as a Model for Immunonutrition Studies in Early Life

Table 1

Physiological characteristics and logistical considerations of the three most used animal models for nutritional intervention in early life [1015].


Physiological characteristics

Pregnancy period (days)18–2121–23110–118
Placenta type Discoidal, hemoendothelial choroidea, decidual Discoidal, hemoendothelial choroidea, decidualEpitheliochorial
Litter size6–126–1511–16
Birth weight (g)0.5–1.53–5900–1600
Weaning weight male/female (g)18–25/16–2555–90/45–806000–8000
Suckling period (days)21–282128–49
Solid diet beginning (days)101212–15
Puberty male/female (wk)4–6/56/6–820–28
Life expectancy (years)1-22-314–18
Developmental maturity at birth1****

Animal model logistical considerations2

Minimum enclosure size for mother and litter (cm2)3308000.2–2.5 m2
Purchase and maintenance cost*-**3****
Easily of pup’s manageability**********

evelopmental maturity (i.e., gastrointestinal functions—nutrition and evacuation—thermoregulation, locomotion, etc.) related to adults from immature (*) to mature (*****).
nimal model desirability factors evaluated from relatively low (*) to relatively high (*****).
ost and availability differ depending on the particularities of the animal strain.

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