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Sheep for the study of the urocortins and other hormones

Rademaker, Miriam T.; Charles, Christopher J.; Richards, Mark

Cardiovascular Endocrinology:
doi: 10.1097/XCE.0000000000000024
Cardiovascular Biomarkers in Animal Models - A Bridge to Human Disease Edited by Jens Peter Goetze and Lisbeth Hoier Olsen: Reviews

The use of animal models has been crucial to our understanding of the causation, progression and therapeutic management of disease. The rapid ventricular pacing model of heart failure (HF) in sheep closely replicates the haemodynamic, endocrine and metabolic characteristics of severe human HF, and has been utilized extensively in the study of key and newly discovered hormones implicated in the pathophysiology of the syndrome. The large body size and blood volume of the sheep enable comprehensive instrumentation to provide diverse and multiple haemodynamic measurements and allow repeated blood and urine sampling – all of which are vital in capturing an integrated picture of the biological effects of HF and determining intersystem inter-relationships. This review focuses on the urocortin peptides as an example showing the range of studies carried out in this ovine model to help elucidate the pathophysiological role and therapeutic potential of a hormone in HF.

Author Information

Department of Medicine, Christchurch Heart Institute, University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand

Correspondence to Miriam T. Rademaker, PhD, Department of Medicine, Christchurch Heart Institute, University of Otago, Christchurch, PO Box 4345, Christchurch, New Zealand Tel: +64 3 3641112; fax: +64 3 3640525; e-mail:

Received August 16, 2013

Accepted January 7, 2014

© 2014Wolters Kluwer Health Lippincott Williams Wilkins

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