Cardiomyopathy in crowded rabbits: a preliminary report
The original publication is available at http://www.samj.org.za
Rabbits were crowded 4 to a cage for 2 wk, then released for 1 wk, crowded again for 1 wk, and so on. Of 44 rabbits subjected to intermittent crowding only 9 survived longer than 10 mth, 20 died during the 1st month and 15 died between the 2nd and 9th mth of the experiment. Autopsy findings were indicative of heart failure. Light microscopical sections of the myocardium showed myocytolysis, interstitial edema, and an increased amount of acid mucopolysaccharides in rabbits surviving for 2 wk and more. Some rabbits surviving longer than 2 wk had in addition coagulative myocardial necrosis. The accumulations of acid mucopolysaccharides apparently were unrelated to necrotic foci. Longtime survivors frequently showed myocardial fibrosis and endocardial fibro elastosis, as well as basophilic degeneration of myocardial fibers. The lesions observed were similar to those described in idiopathic endomyocardiopathy in Southern Africa. Therefore, the rabbit may be of some value for research in cardiomyopathies.
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