Continuous assessment of multiple vital physiological functions in conscious freely moving rats using telemetry and a plethysmography system

J Pharmacol Toxicol Methods. 2000 May-Jun;43(3):211-7. doi: 10.1016/s1056-8719(00)00101-5.


The general pharmacologist in the pharmaceutical industry is challenged to generate physiologically relevant data on possible safety liabilities or on secondary therapeutic uses as early as possible in drug development. This implies the need for efficient use of usually only small supplies of test article. For this reason, we have developed a new animal model combining various elements to provide a broad spectrum of data focussing on the so-called vital physiological functions: cardiovascular, respiratory, and central nervous system. This system uses rats chronically implanted with transmitters for the measurement of arterial pressure, ECG, and body temperature. Modification of the transmitters also allows for the simultaneous assessment of locomotor activity. Studies are performed with these rats in plethysmographs placed directly over the antenna units thus allowing for the additional assessment of respiratory function in the same studies. Using this system, we can generate simultaneously a wide range of relevant physiological parameters in conscious rats with a modest requirement for test article. Such an approach is highly useful for getting early safety readouts of potential drug development candidates as well as for detecting possible secondary therapeutic actions of a drug.

MeSH terms

  • 8-Hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin / pharmacology
  • Amphetamine / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Body Temperature / drug effects
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / pharmacology
  • Calibration
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / pharmacology
  • Electrocardiography
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Male
  • Nifedipine / pharmacology
  • Physiological Phenomena*
  • Plethysmography / methods*
  • Rats
  • Respiratory Mechanics / drug effects
  • Serotonin Receptor Agonists / pharmacology
  • Telemetry / methods*


  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Serotonin Receptor Agonists
  • 8-Hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin
  • Amphetamine
  • Nifedipine