Study of Wistar Rats Heart at Different Stages in the Evolutionary Cycle

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De Carvalho, C. A. M. & Thomazini, J. A.


The rat is probably the most commonly used animal in scientific research. There are many benefits to its use such as: ability to work a large number of animals allowing greater statistical validity, the relatively short life cycles. However, the scant literature regarding the anatomy and morphology of these animals is also old and not very descriptive. The objective of this research is to study the macroscopic morphometric aspects of several parameters that have not been described yet regarding the heart of Wistar rats in different phases of their lives. Thirty-six adult male and female rats (Rattus norvegicus) weighting 150-770 g were randomly divided into 6 experimental groups. The heart was then carefully dissected and removed from the chest. After this process, the heart had their weight measured on a precision scale HELMAC HM100, and for each front section of the heart related measures were taken through a semi-automatic image analysis of Kontron Build Analyse (Minimop). The percentage ratio between the relative heart weight to body weight was between 0.5 and 0.7% in the animals with body weight up to 650 g. The maximum and minimum diameters were always statistically lower in females compared to males. The measurements showed the hearts of the females shorter, narrower, smaller and lighter than those of males. Over the life of these females, although the heart weight increases, the heart apparently keeps its shape and size. Furthermore, the hearts of males narrow and stretch along their development.

KEY WORDS: Weight; Measures; Heart; Rats.

How to cite this article

DE CARVALHO, C. A. M. & THOMAZINI, J. A. Study of Wistar rats heart at different stages in the evolutionary cycle. Int. J. Morphol., 32(2):614-617, 2014.