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Use of Fluoroscopy to Study In Vivo Motility in Mouse Pups

Williams, Kent*; Koyama, Tatsuki; Schulz, Daryl; Kaluza, Grzegorz L; Pautler, Robia G§; Weisbrodt, Norman||; Conner, Margaret E

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition: June 2011 - Volume 52 - Issue 6 - p 679–685
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e31820a0e86
Original Articles: Gastroenterology

Objectives: Few methods exist to noninvasively study in vivo gastrointestinal motility in animal models of enteric infections. None have been used on mouse pups, which often display more severe symptoms during enteric infections than adult mice. This study sought to determine whether digital fluoroscopy could be used to evaluate gastrointestinal motility in mouse pups as well as adult mice.

Materials and Methods: Fluoroscopic imaging studies were performed on normal 6- to 8-week-old adult mice and 12-day-old pups to develop protocols for evaluating gastric and intestinal wall movements and changes in stomach sizes. These protocols were then applied to evaluate motility in an established rotavirus mouse model. Imaging studies were performed on adult mice at 0, 2, and 4 days postinfection and on 12-day-old pups at 2 days postinfection.

Results: Fluoroscopic studies revealed postnatal differences of gastric peristalsis and rates of intestinal contractions between normal mouse pups and adult mice. Studies of the rotavirus mouse model revealed that differences in gastric function occur between rotavirus-infected and control mouse pups, but no discernible difference occurs between infected and control adult mice. In contrast, there were no detectable differences in rates of intestinal wall movements between control pups with normal stools and infected pups with loose stools.

Conclusions: These results demonstrate that fluoroscopy can evaluate in vivo motility in mouse pups and by doing so provide findings that are clinically relevant to the study of enteric infections in young.

*Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA

Department of Biostatistics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA

Methodist Hospital Research Institute, USA

§Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Baylor College of Medicine, USA

||Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology, University of Texas Medical School at Houston, USA

Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine and Michael DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Houston, TX, USA.

Received 11 February, 2010

Accepted 19 November, 2010

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Kent Williams, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 2215 Garland Ave, Room 1025, MRB IV, Nashville, TN 37232-0696 (e-mail:

This work was supported by National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease Research Training Grant T32DK07664-14, Center Grant P30DK56338, and Baylor College of Medicine Diabetes and Endocrinology Core (DERC) supported by P30DK079638, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Grant AI24998, Merit Review Grant from the Office of Research and Development, Medical Research Service, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Digestive Disease Research Center Supported by National Institutes of Health grant P30DK058404.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

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