Hamster Flank Organ Acne Model / Overview
Hamster flank organ acne model is an animal model which has been extensively used for the study of compounds inhibiting the response of sebaceous glands to hormones, anti-androgens, and retinoids.
The hamster flank organ is composed of clusters of large sebaceous glands.
This organ has a bilateral localization on animals abdomen and is used to produce pheromones and marking molecules of mature males.
Hamster mature males with application of compounds / new drugs on flank organ on each side
Histology evaluation flank organ size and sebaceous glands
Evaluation of in vivo / ex vivo / analysis secondary efficacy endpoints
Typical results obtained with this model are presented below:
(excipient / topical)
(retinoid / topical)
|In vivo||Bodyweight||NE (No Effect)||NE or decrease|
|Flank organ size||NE||Slight decrease|
|Back skin scaling|
|NE||Slight increase (dry skin appearance)|
|Back skin erythema|
|Back skin thickness|
|NE||NE or increase|
(OCT / Optical Coherence Tomography)
|Sebaceous glands inter-lobular spaces||NE||Increase|
(local inflammation slight to moderate)
Hamster Flank Organ Acne Model / Detailed protocol
Hamster / Syrian gold strain
– >10 weeks old / Male with SPF status
– Randomization on bodyweight & organs sizes
Application of dermatological pharmaceutical products
– Ready to use formulations / Formulation screening on request
– Intra-dermal route (i.e. Medical Devices or injectable drugs)
– Treatment duration: >3 weeks
Evaluation of clinical macroscopic signs
– Body weight / General behavior
– Flank organ size and length / Caliper
– Back skin thickness / Caliper
– Flank organ and surrounding skin macroscopic description:
Scaling (skin dryness)
Erythema (skin redness)
Other macroscopic skin observations
In vivo imaging
– Macroscopical observation: Digital pictures of flank organs
– Sub-macroscopical exploration: Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) for epidermis thickness measurement and superior sebaceous gland structure (on development)
– Ultrasonography for flank organ size evaluation
Ex vivo imaging
– HES (Hemalun-Eosin-Safran) / Overall evaluation of efficacy (sebaceous glands surface / sebum surface)
Ki67 staining for keratinocyte / fibroblast / sebocyte proliferation index calculation
Other stainings on request
Other ex vivo imaging techniques of interest:
3D reconstruction of sebaceous glands for volume evaluation
Light Sheet microscopy (in collaboration)
MALDI imaging (in collaboration)
Hamster Flank Organ Acne model / Conclusion
Hamster flank organ model is a first intention model validated with retinoids and anti-androgens family of compounds.
6 animals per group are generally sufficient to underline anti-acne effect of new therapeutics (based on difference of at least 20% / sebaceous glands surface or sebum surface).
Cautions to be taken on this model :
Use of previously untested excipients should be avoid as they could cause false positive, false negative or local irritation
Formulation physico-chemistry must be well known (pH, osmolarity, etc…)
Drug pharmacokinetics / ADME / transcutaneous passage should be known to optimize dosing
Do not hesitate to contact us if you need more information or a quotation on this model.
Bibliography of interest
- Franz, T. J., et al. The hamster flank organ model: is it relevant to man? J. Invest. Dermatol. 93, 475–9 (1989).
- Weissmann, A., et al. Morphometric Studies of the Hamster Flank Organ: An Improved Model to Evaluate Pharmacologic Effects on Sebaceous Glands. J. Invest. Dermatol. 82, 522–525 (1984).
- Gomez, E. C. & Moskowitz, R. J. Effect of 13-cis-retinoic acid on the hamster flank organ. J. Invest. Dermatol. 74, 392–397 (1980).
- Orentreich, N. et al. The local antiandrogenic effect of the intracutaneous injection of progesterone in the flank organ of sexually mature male Syrian golden hamster. Arch. Dermatol. Res. 276, 401–405 (1984).
- Piskin, S. & Uzunali, E. A review of the use of adapalene for the treatment of acne vulgaris. Ther. Clin. Risk Manag. 3, 621–624 (2007).