Iohexol plasma clearance, a simple and reliable method to measure renal function in conscious mice

Sergio Luis-Lima, Ana Elena Rodríguez-Rodríguez, Cristina Martín-Higueras, Catalina Sierra-Ramos, Fabiola Carrara, María Rosa Arnau, Diego Alvarez de la Rosa, Eduardo Salido, Flavio Gaspari, Esteban Porrini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In mice, renal function evaluated by serum creatinine has limitations. Gold standard methods using radioactive markers are cumbersome. We aimed to develop the iohexol plasma clearance as a simple assessment of renal function in conscious mice. We used two groups of mice: testing and validation, formed by 16 animals (8 male and 8 female) each. Iohexol was injected intravenously into the tail vein (6.47 mg), and tail tip blood samples were collected at 1, 3, 7, 10, 15, 35, 55, and 75 min. Iohexol plasma clearances were calculated in two ways: (1) two-compartment model (CL2) using all time points and (2) one-compartment model (CL1) using only the last four points. In the testing group, CL1 overestimated the true clearance (CL2). Therefore, CL1 was recalculated applying a correction factor calculated as the ratio between CL2/CL1. The latter was considered as the simplified method. CL2 averaged 223.3 ± 64.3 μl/min and CL1 252.4 ± 76.4 μl/min, which lead to a CF of 0.89. Comparable results for CL2, CL1, and simplified method were observed in the validation group. Additionally, we demonstrated the capacity of the simplified method to quantitatively assess different degrees of renal function in three mouse models: hyperoxaluric-CKD (87.4 ± 28.3 μl/min), heminephrectomized (135–0 ± 50.5 μl/min), and obese (399.6 ± 112.1 μl/min) mice. We have developed a simple and reliable method to evaluate renal function in conscious mice under diverse clinical conditions. Moreover, the test can be repeated in the same animal, which makes the method useful to examine renal function changes over time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalPflugers Archiv European Journal of Physiology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jun 17 2016


  • Conscious mice
  • Glomerular filtration rate
  • Gold standard technique
  • Iohexol plasma clearance
  • One-compartment model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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