Purpose: The current animal model generally accepted by the pharmaceutical industry and the FDA for assessment of muscle damage following intramuscular injection (IM) is the rabbit lesion volume model (RbLV). However, this model is resource intensive. The goal of this study was to find a resource sparing alternative to the rabbit lesion model for assessing injection site toleration in IM formulation screening.
Methods: Short term animal model alternatives to RbLV for evaluating IM formulations were examined. In addition to RbLV, myeloperoxidase (MPO), p-nitrophenyl N-acetyl-beta-glucosaminide (NA beta G) and/or plasma creatine phosphokinase (CK) activities were determined in rabbits (Rb) and rats (Rt) after injection of formulations (digoxin, azithromycin and danofloxacin). The edema from these formulations 24 hr after subcutaneous injection into the rat footpad (RFE) was also determined.
Results: MPO and NA beta G were not considered very useful as biochemical predictors of muscle damage for these formulations. Histology generally correlated with RbLV values. Compared to saline, RbLV was marked for all formulations within 1-3 days of injection. After day 3, lesions quickly resolved, and no significant differences were found. For these formulations, all CK animal models and RFE were generally predictive of RbLV. A formulation with RtCK > 1000 U/L or RbCK > 3000 U/L, was predicted to be poorly, tolerated.
Conclusions: Due to ease, number of animals, time and intrinsic mechanism, we concluded that for most formulations, 2 and 4 hr RtCK data alone should be reasonably predictive of muscle damage.