Comparison of the lateral tail vein and the retro-orbital venous sinus as routes of intravenous drug delivery in a transgenic mouse model

Lab Anim (NY). 2008 Jan;37(1):26-32. doi: 10.1038/laban0108-26.


In mice, intravenous injections are commonly administered in the lateral tail vein. This technique is sometimes difficult to carry out and may cause stress to mice. Though injection through the retro-orbital venous sinus can provide certain advantages over lateral tail vein injection, this method is poorly defined and infrequently used. To compare the efficacy of these two routes of drug delivery, the authors injected MAFIA transgenic mice with the depletion agent AP20187, which selectively induces apoptosis in macrophages. Each mouse received five consecutive daily injections through either the lateral tail vein or the retro-orbital venous sinus. The authors then compared macrophage depletion in different tissues (lung, spleen, bone marrow and peritoneal exudate cells). Both routes of injection were similarly effective. A separate experiment using BALB/c mice indicated that retro-orbital venous sinus injection was the less stressful of the two methods.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Bone Marrow / drug effects
  • Bone Marrow / pathology
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Macrophages / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Models, Animal
  • Orbit / blood supply*
  • Orbit / drug effects
  • Orbit / pathology
  • Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms
  • Spleen / drug effects
  • Spleen / pathology
  • Stress, Psychological / chemically induced
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Tacrolimus / administration & dosage
  • Tacrolimus / analogs & derivatives*
  • Tail / blood supply*
  • Veins


  • AP20187
  • Tacrolimus