Standard operating procedures in experimental liver research: thioacetamide model in mice and rats

Lab Anim. 2015 Apr;49(1 Suppl):21-9. doi: 10.1177/0023677215573040.


In addition to carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), thioacetamide (TAA) represents a second widely used model for the induction of experimental liver fibrosis, but can also be employed for the development of acute liver failure and liver tumours. While TAA itself is not hepatotoxic, its reactive metabolites covalently bind to proteins and lipids thereby causing oxidative stress and centrilobular necrosis. Compared with CCl4, TAA leads to more periportal infiltrates and more pronounced ductal proliferation. While TAA has been shown to induce liver fibrosis development in several different mouse strains, wide variations in the administration routes, doses and treatment durations have been reported. Therefore, an adoption of a universal standard operating procedure for the administration of TAA is urgently needed. For that purpose, we are presenting here two TAA models (intraperitoneal administration of 150 mg/kg of TAA three times per week for 11 weeks in rats, and TAA administration in drinking water at 300 mg/L for 2-4 months in mice) with which we have had success in reliably and reproducibly developing chronic liver injury and fibrosis.

Keywords: CYP2E1; animal models; cirrhosis; hepatotoxin; liver fibrosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Laboratory Animal Science* / standards
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Experimental / chemically induced*
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Experimental / pathology
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Experimental / physiopathology
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Thioacetamide / toxicity*
  • Time Factors


  • Thioacetamide