The concanavalin A model of acute hepatitis in mice

Lab Anim. 2015 Apr;49(1 Suppl):12-20. doi: 10.1177/0023677215572841.


The intravenous injection of the plant lectin concanavalin A (ConA) is a widely used model for acute immune-mediated hepatitis in mice. In contrast to several other models for acute hepatic damage, ConA-induced injury is primarily driven by the activation and recruitment of T cells to the liver. Hence, the ConA model has unique features with respect to its pathogenesis and important similarities to immune-mediated hepatitis in humans, such as autoimmune hepatitis, acute viral hepatitis or distinct entities of drug toxicity leading to immune activation. However, the ConA model has considerable variability, depending on the preparation of the compound, genetic background of the mice, sex, age and microbial environment of the animal facility barrier. This standard operating procedure (SOP) comprises a detailed protocol for the ConA application, including preparation of ConA working solution, handling of the animals, choice of the appropriate conditions and endpoints, as well as efficient dose-finding.

Keywords: ConA; T cells; hepatitis; liver disease; mouse model.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Concanavalin A / toxicity*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Hepatitis / etiology*
  • Hepatitis / pathology
  • Hepatitis / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Laboratory Animal Science* / standards
  • Mice


  • Concanavalin A