Considering the suitability of laboratory rats in epilepsy research, we and other groups have been developing genetic models of epilepsy in this species. After epileptic rats or seizure-susceptible rats were sporadically found in outbred stocks, the epileptic traits were usually genetically-fixed by selective breeding. So far, the absence seizure models GAERS and WAG/Rij, audiogenic seizure models GEPR-3 and GEPR-9, generalized tonic-clonic seizure models IER, NER and WER, and Canavan-disease related epileptic models TRM and SER have been established. Dissection of the genetic bases including causative genes in these epileptic rat models would be a significant step toward understanding epileptogenesis. N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) mutagenesis provides a systematic approach which allowed us to develop two novel epileptic rat models: heat-induced seizure susceptible (Hiss) rats with an Scn1a missense mutation and autosomal dominant lateral temporal epilepsy (ADLTE) model rats with an Lgi1 missense mutation. In addition, we have established episodic ataxia type 1 (EA1) model rats with a Kcna1 missense mutation derived from the ENU-induced rat mutant stock, and identified a Cacna1a missense mutation in a N-Methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU)-induced mutant rat strain GRY, resulting in the discovery of episodic ataxia type 2 (EA2) model rats. Thus, epileptic rat models have been established on the two paths: ‘phenotype to gene’ and ‘gene to phenotype’. In the near future, development of novel epileptic rat models will be extensively promoted by the use of sophisticated genome editing technologies.
Haptoglobin (Hp), serum amyloid A (SAA), C-reactive protein (CRP), white blood cells (WBC), reactive oxygen metabolites (ROMs), the antioxidant barrier (Oxy-adsorbent) and thiol groups of plasma compounds (SHp) were measured in ten dogs that had been transported a distance of about 230 km within 2 h (experimental group) and in ten dogs that had not been subjected to road transportation (control group). Blood was collected via cephalic venipuncture before road transportation (T0), after road transportation (T1), and more than 6 (T6) and 24 (T24) hours after road transportation in the experimental group (Group A) and at the same time points in the control group (Group B). The GLM (general linear model) Repeated Measures procedure showed a significant difference between the two groups (P<0.0001) and a significant rise (P<0.0001) in the concentrations of Hp, SAA, CRP, WBC, ROMs, Oxy-adsorbent and SHp after road transportation in Group A, underlining that physiological and homeostatic mechanisms are modified differently at various sampling times.
Although Slc:Wistar rats are used widely in biomedical research as outbred rats, close similarities in growth curves, survival rates, and immunological and biochemical phenotypes have been reported between Slc:Wistar and F344 inbred rats. We reported previously that nine genetic variations that were fixed in Slc:Wistar rats had identical genotypes in F344 rats. Here, we examined the genetic characteristics of Slc:Wistar rats using 27 simple-sequence length polymorphism (SSLP) markers and compared them with other Wistar stocks available in Japan and with some F344 strains. Among 27 SSLP loci, 23 (85%) were fixed in the Slc:Wistar rats, which was the highest among the other Wistar stocks. The 23 fixed loci shared identical genotypes with corresponding loci in F344 rats. Further, the predominant allele types in the unfixed loci had allele frequencies as high as 80%, and these alleles were identical in the F344 rats. When the nine genetic variations reported previously are added, a total of 32 (89%) out of the 36 loci examined were fixed and identical in the Slc:Wistar and F344 rat genomes. These findings indicate the low genetic variation in Slc:Wistar rats and the high genetic similarity between the Slc:Wistar and F344 inbred rats. This study demonstrates the importance of characterizing outbred rats and the need to pay ample attention to the genetic characteristics the Slc:Wistar rats for their proper use.
Targeted genome editing of nonrodent mammalian species has provided the potential for highly accurate interventions into gene function in humans and the generation of useful animal models of human diseases. Here we show successful clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated (Cas)-mediated gene targeting via circular plasmid injection in rabbits. The rabbit tyrosinase gene (TYR) was effectively disrupted, and we confirmed germline transmission by pronuclear injection of a circular plasmid expressing humanized Cas9 (hCas9) and single-guide RNA. Direct injection into pronuclear stage zygotes was possible following an in vitro validation assay. Neither off-target mutagenesis nor hCas9 transgenesis was detected in any of the genetically targeted pups and embryos examined. Gene targeting with this rapid and simplified strategy will help accelerate the development of translational research using other nonrodent mammalian species.
The anesthetic mixture of medetomidine (MED), midazolam (MID) and butorphanol (BUT) produced anesthetic duration of around 40 minutes (min) in ICR mice. We reported that this anesthetic mixture produced almost the same anesthetic effects in both male and female BALB/c and C57BL/6J strains. Intraperitoneal (IP) administration of drugs has been widely used in mice. However, various injectable routes of the anesthetic mixture may cause different anesthetic effects. First, we examined effects of the anesthetic mixture by subcutaneous (SC) and intravenous (IV) injection compared to IP injection. After injection of the anesthetic mixture, administration of atipamezole (ATI) induced mice recovery from anesthesia. Secondly, we examined how different dosage and optimum injection timing of ATI affected mice recovery from anesthesia. We used an anesthetic score to measure anesthetic duration and a pulse oximeter to monitor vital signs under anesthesia. Usually, drugs from SC injection work more weakly than IP or IV injection. However, we found no significant differences of anesthetic duration among the three different injection routes. Antagonistic effects of ATI (0.3 mg/kg and 1.5 mg/kg) worked equally when administered at 30 min after injection of the anesthetic mixture. Antagonistic effects of ATI (1.5 mg/kg) were stronger than ATI (0.3 mg/kg) at 10 min after injection of the anesthetic mixture. The anesthetic mixture is a useful drug to induce nearly the same anesthetic effects by different injection routes and has an antagonist of ATI which helps mice quickly recover from anesthesia. These results may contribute to the welfare of laboratory animals.
The clone library method using PCR amplification of the 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene was used to identify pathogens from corneal scrapings of C57BL/6-corneal opacity (B6-Co) mice with bacterial keratitis. All 10 samples from the eyes with bacterial keratitis showed positive PCR results. All 10 samples from the normal cornea showed negative PCR results. In all 10 PCR-positive samples, the predominant and second most predominant species accounted for 20.9 to 40.6% and 14.7 to 26.1%, respectively, of each clone library. The predominant species were Staphylococcus lentus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus epidermidis. The microbiota analysis detected a diverse group of microbiota in the eyes of B6-Co mice with bacterial keratitis and showed that the causative pathogens could be determined based on percentages of bacterial species in the clone libraries. The bacterial species detected in this study were mostly in accordance with results of studies on clinical bacterial keratitis in human eyes. Based on the results of our previous studies and this study, the B6-Co mouse should be considered a favorable model for studying bacterial keratitis.
Selecting the appropriate anesthetic protocol for the individual animal is an essential part of laboratory animal experimentation. The present study compared the characteristics of four anesthetic protocols in mice, focusing on the vital signs. Thirty-two male ddY mice were divided into four groups and administered anesthesia as follows: pentobarbital sodium monoanaesthesia; ketamine and xylazine combined (K/X); medetomidine, midazolam, and butorphanol combined (M/M/B); and isoflurane. In each group, rectal temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, and O2 saturation (SPO2) were measured, and the changes over time and instability in these signs were compared. The anesthetic depth was also evaluated in each mouse, and the percentage of mice achieving surgical anesthesia was calculated. K/X anesthesia caused remarkable bradycardia, while the respiratory rate and SPO2 were higher than with the others, suggesting a relatively strong cardiac influence and less respiratory depression. The M/M/B group showed a relatively lower heart rate and SPO2, but these abnormalities were rapidly reversed by atipamezole administration. The pentobarbital group showed a lower SPO2, and 62.5% of mice did not reach a surgical anesthetic depth. The isoflurane group showed a marked decrease in respiratory rate compared with the injectable anesthetic groups. However, it had the most stable SPO2 among the groups, suggesting a higher tidal volume. The isoflurane group also showed the highest heart rate during anesthesia. In conclusion, the present study showed the cardiorespiratory characteristics of various anesthetic protocols, providing basic information for selecting an appropriate anesthetic for individual animals during experimentation.
An imbalance between production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and its elimination by antioxidant defense system in the body has been implicated for causes of aging and neurodegenerative diseases. This study was design to assess the changes in activities of antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione-S-transferase (GST), catalase), lipid peroxidation and reduced glutathione (GSH) levels in the brain of 2, 10 and 20 month old rats, and to determine the effect of safranal on the status of selected oxidative stress indices in the 10 and 20 month old rats. The aged rats (10 and 20 months) were given intraperitoneal injections of safranal (0.5 mg/kg day) daily for one month. The results of this study demonstrated that aging caused significant increase in the level of lipid peroxidation as well decrease in the GSH level and activities of SOD and GST in the brain of aging rats. The results of this study showed that safranal ameliorated the increased lipid peroxidation level as well as decreased GSH content of the brain of 10 and 20 month old rats. In addition, safranal treatment to the 20 month old rats, which restored the SOD and GST activities. In conclusion, safranal can be effective to protect susceptible aged brain from oxidative damage by increasing antioxidant defenses.
In-feed Medication has been used for a long time to prevent coccidiosis, a worldwide protozoal disease in rabbits. Florfenicol (FFC) has been widely used in veterinary clinics for bacterial diseases treatment. Therefore, the use of combinations of coccidiostats with FFC in rabbits is common. In the present study, we aimed to evaluate the effect of three coccidiostats, sulfaquinoxaline (SUL), robenidine (ROB), and toltrazuril (TOL), as feed additives on the pharmacokinetic profile of FFC in rabbits. The disposition kinetics of FFC in rabbits were investigated after a single intravenous injection (25 mg/kg) in rabbits fed anticoccidial-free diets or feeds containing SUL (250 ppm), ROB (66 ppm), or TOL (2 ppm), respectively, for 20 days. Plasma FFC concentrations were determined by the high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method. The pharmacokinetic parameters of FFC were analyzed using a non-compartmental analysis based on the statistical moment theory. The results demonstrated that ROB feeding resulted in an obvious decrease in plasma FFC level as compared with anticoccidial-free feeding. The terminal elimination half-life (t1/2z), area under the concentration–time curve (AUC), area under the first moment curve (AUMC), and mean residence time (MRT) significantly decreased, whereas the elimination rate constant (λz) and total body clearance (CLz) obviously increased in rabbits pretreated with ROB. However, we did not find that SUL or TOL feeding had any effect on the pharmacokinetic profile of FFC. Our findings suggested that more attention should be paid to the use of FFC in rabbits supplemented with ROB.
Rodent ovariectomy is an experimental method to eliminate the main source of sexual steroids. This work explored for the first time the ovariectomy temporal changes induced in the hemostatic coagulation markers: prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), thrombin time (TT), and fibrinogen concentration (FIB) along with uterine weight on adult female CD1 mice and Wistar rats. Uterine weight (Uw) was assessed before ovariectomy (control), and 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 16, and 21 days after surgery. PT, aPTT, TT and FIB were estimated the same days, using reported standard techniques. Ovariectomy decreased Uw, since day 1; and from day 10 to 21 reached the lowest values for both species. After day 1, mice hemostatic parameters changed (PT +10%, P<0.05; aPTT +53%, P<0.05; TT −24%, P<0.05; FIB +67%, P<0.05). Rats showed significant changes only in TT and FIB (TT −13%, P<0.001; FIB +65%, P<0.001). Neither mice PT, aPTT and TT, recovered control values after 21 days. In the rats from day 5 to 16 aPTT diminished (18–23%, P<0.05) recovering to control values on day 21, TT after 9 days and PT on day 16. In both species, FIB returned to its control values after 9 days. Ovariectomy differentially altered the PT hemostatic parameter of mice and rats indicating a non-equivalence among both species behaviour for experimental studies of blood coagulation.
C57BL/6N inbred mice are used as the genetic background for producing knockout mice in large-scale projects worldwide; however, the genetic divergence among C57BL/6N-derived substrains has not been verified. Here, we identified novel single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) specific to the C57BL/6NJ strain and selected useful SNPs for the genetic monitoring of C57BL/6N-derived substrains. Informative SNPs were selected from the public SNP database at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute by comparing sequence data from C57BL/6NJ and C57BL/6J mice. A total of 1,361 candidate SNPs from the SNP database could distinguish the C57BL/6NJ strain from 12 other inbred strains. We confirmed 277 C57BL/6NJ-specific SNPs including 10 nonsynonymous SNPs by direct sequencing, and selected 100 useful SNPs that cover all of the chromosomes except Y. Genotyping of 11 C57BL/6N-derived substrains at these 100 SNP loci demonstrated genetic differences among the substrains. This information will be useful for accurate genetic monitoring of mouse strains with a C57BL/6N-derived background.