Body-weight distribution on forelimbs in rat tail-suspension model.
ABSTRACT To understand the tail-suspension model to simulate weightlessness better, this study was to investigate the relationship of the amount of body weight supported by forelimbs between the tilt angles of rat in the model. Normal rat had at least two basic postures. One was standing or walking, in which the forelimbs bear 44.6% of the body weight; the other one was resting, in which 23.9% of body weight was placed on the forelimbs. As for tail-suspended rat, body-weight distribution on forelimbs was linearly related to tilt angle. The linear relationship was y = -0.7423x + 70.849, R2 = 0.9269. The tilt angle should be approximately 35 degrees if normal standing load of 44.6% body weight was placed on the forelimbs. On the other hand, it should be approximately 63 degrees if normal resting load of 23.9% of body weight was placed on forelimbs. Furthermore, the body load on forelimbs in tail-suspension model became much larger if the period of different postures was considered. Therefore, it should be careful if forelimbs are used to be as convenient internal control in tail-suspended rats.