Neurogastroenterology and motility : the official journal of the European Gastrointestinal Motility Society

Bead study: a novel method to measure gastrointestinal transit in mice.

PMID 25264134


Intestinal transit assessment in mice using existing methods requires long recording periods or euthanization of animals to localize a tracer. We have developed a novel in vivo method to assess gastrointestinal (GI) transit in mice based on a clinically used 'shapes study'. Mice (n = 70) were gavaged with 5 steel beads and barium 3 h before, with another dose of barium gavaged 10 min before imaging. Mice were fluoroscoped for 20-60 s, and then most of them were euthanized and the GI tract removed to confirm the localization of the beads fluoroscopically. The in vivo and postmortem recordings were analyzed and each bead was scored depending on its location; a total score was calculated by adding individual bead scores. Total scores obtained from the two methods were compared. A group of mice (n = 10) were examined on three occasions, before and after treatment with loperamide or prucalopride. The stomach and cecum were consistently outlined by barium, serving as reference landmarks. There was an excellent overall correlation between in vivo and postmortem transit scores (r = 0.93). Analysis of scores for individual gut segments revealed high agreement for stomach, cecum, and expelled beads, and moderate agreement for the small bowel and colon. Gastrointestinal transit scores were decreased by loperamide and increased by prucalopride compared with baseline. Metallic beads are reliably localized by videofluoroscopy in vivo within the GI tract. This novel imaging method enables repetitive measurements of GI transit in vivo and detects changes induced by motility-modifying agents.

Related Materials