Validation of high-throughput methods for measuring blood urea nitrogen and urinary albumin concentrations in mice

Comp Med. 2006 Dec;56(6):482-6.


Chronic kidney disease is a substantial medical and economic burden. Animal models, including mice, are a crucial component of kidney disease research; however, recent studies disprove the ability of autoanalyzer methods to accurately quantify plasma creatinine levels, an established marker of kidney disease, in mice. Therefore, we validated autoanalyzer methods for measuring blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and urinary albumin concentrations, 2 common markers of kidney disease, in samples from mice. We used high-performance liquid chromatography to validate BUN concentrations measured using an autoanalyzer, and we utilized mouse albumin standards to determine the accuracy of the autoanalyzer over a wide range of albumin concentrations. We observed a significant, linear correlation between BUN concentrations measured by autoanalyzer and high-performance liquid chromatography. We also found a linear relationship between known and measured albumin concentrations, although the autoanalyzer method underestimated the known amount of albumin by 3.5- to 4-fold. We confirmed that plasma and urine constituents do not interfere with the autoanalyzer methods for measuring BUN and urinary albumin concentrations. In addition, we verified BUN and albuminuria as useful markers to detect kidney disease in aged mice and mice with 5/6-nephrectomy. We conclude that autoanalyzer methods are suitable for high-throughput analysis of BUN and albumin concentrations in mice. The autoanalyzer accurately quantifies BUN concentrations in mouse plasma samples and is useful for measuring urinary albumin concentrations when used with mouse albumin standards.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Albumins / standards
  • Albuminuria / urine*
  • Animals
  • Autoanalysis / methods
  • Autoanalysis / standards
  • Blood Chemical Analysis / methods*
  • Blood Chemical Analysis / standards
  • Blood Urea Nitrogen*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / blood
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / urine
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred A
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred DBA
  • Reference Standards
  • Species Specificity
  • Urinalysis / methods*


  • Albumins