Angiogenesis is the process of developing new blood vessels from the original vascular network; it is necessary for normal physiological processes, such as embryonic development and wound healing. Angiogenesis is also involved in pathological events, including myocardial ischemia and tumor growth. To investigate the molecular mechanisms of this important process, a variety of methods and models are employed. These strategies can also be used to provide insight into the etiology of angiogenesis-related diseases, thereby contributing to the development of new diagnostics and treatments. Commonly used animal models include the chorioallantoic membrane and yolk sac membrane of chick embryos, the mouse retina and aortic ring, and angiogenesis reactors implanted into mice. These animal models have been instrumental in the study of the angiogenic process. For example, the chorioallantoic membrane undergoes robust angiogenesis during the development of chick embryos, and, because its surface is easily accessible, this membrane provides a convenient model for experimentation. Here, we discuss the methods that employ animal models for the imaging and quantification of angiogenesis. In addition, we propose potential novel directions for future investigations in this area.
Center for Development of Advanced Medical Technology (CDAMTec) in Jichi Medical University was established in 2009. It is the first educational research facility specialized for medical research and training using swine in Japan. Preclinical studies on large animals are essential prior to clinical trials to develop regenerative medical products and medical equipment. We have continued comprehensively considering using miniature swine for experiments to develop advanced medical technologies and train physicians with advanced clinical abilities, while paying attention to animal welfare. The center plays a pioneering role in this field by accumulating know-how such as (1) Construction and effective utilization of research facilities, (2) Procurement of quality animal resources, (3) Education and training of technical staff, (4) Establishment of support system for physicians and researchers. We now open up widely these expertise and foundation for medical research and training not only within our university but also outside the university, so as to move faster to practical use of advanced medical technology and contribute to human health and welfare.
Diabetes mellitus is a lifestyle-related disease that is characterized by inappropriate or diminished insulin secretion. Ex vivo pharmacological studies of hypoglycemic agents are often conducted using perfused pancreatic preparations. Pancreas preparations for organ bath experiments do not require cannulation and are therefore less complex than isolated perfused pancreas preparations. However, previous research has generated almost no data on insulin secretion from pancreas preparations using organ bath preparations. The purpose of this study was to investigate the applicability of isolated rat pancreas preparations using the organ bath technique in the quantitative analysis of insulin secretion from β-cells. We found that insulin secretion significantly declined during incubation in the organ bath, whereas it was maintained in the presence of 1 µM GLP-1. Conversely, amylase secretion exhibited a modest increase during incubation and was not altered in the presence of GLP-1. These results demonstrate that the pancreatic organ bath preparation is a sensitive and reproducible method for the ex vivo assessment of the pharmacological properties of hypoglycemic agents.
To provide clear information on the cerebral regions according to peripheral neuropathy, the functional activation was investigated using manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MEMRI). L5-spinal nerve ligation (SNL) was applied to the rats to induce neuropathic pain. Mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia were measured to confirm neuropathic pain induction following before and after gabapentin (GBP) treatment. The cerebral regions were investigated using a 4.7T MRI system in the sham, SNL, and GBP-treated SNL rats. Neuropathic pain was severely induced by SNL on the postoperative day 14, excepting the sham group. While MEMRI indicated many activation regions in the brain of SNL rats before GBP treatment, the activities were chronologically attenuated after GBP treatment. The brain regions relating SNL-induced neuropathic pain were as follows: the posterior association area of the parietal region, superior colliculus, inferior colliculus, primary somatosensory area, cingulate cortex, and cingulum bundle. SNL induced- neuropathic pain is transmitted to the primary somatosensory area and parietal region through the cingulum bundle and limbic system. These findings would be helpful for the understanding of neuropathic pain-associated process and be an accurate target for a relief of neuropathic pain.
The provision of adequate space for laboratory animals is essential not only for good welfare but accurate studies. For example, housing conditions for primates used in biomedical research may negatively affect welfare and thus the reliability of findings. In common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus), an appropriate cage size enables a socially harmonious family environment and optimizes reproductive potential. In this study, we investigated the effects of cage size on body weight (BW), behavior, and nursing succession in the common marmoset. Large cages (LCs) with environment enrichment led to an increase in BW while small cages (SCs) caused stereotypic behaviors that were not observed in LCs. In addition, the BW of infants increased with aging in LCs. Our findings indicate that the welfare of marmosets was enhanced by living in LCs. Research on non-human primates is essential for understanding the human brain and developing knowledge-based strategies for the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric and neurological disorders. Thus, the present findings are important because they indicate that different cages may influence emotional and behavioral phenotypes.
Angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2), an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) homologue that displays antagonist effects on ACE/angiotensin II (Ang II) axis in renin-angiotensin system (RAS), could play a protective role against liver damages. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether inflammation-mediated liver injury could be affected by ACE2 derived pathways in the RAS. Eight-weeks-old wild-type (WT; C57BL/6) and Ace2 KO (hemizygous Ace2-/y) male mice were used to induce liver fibrosis by thioacetamide (TAA) administration (0, 100, and 200 mg/kg BW). The mice administrated with TAA could be successfully induced liver fibrosis in a TAA-dose dependent manner. Compared to WT mice, the results show that Ace2 KO mice have high sensitive, and developed more serious reaction of hepatic inflammation and fibrosis by TAA administration. The physiological and pathological examinations demonstrated higher serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) levels, infiltration of white blood cells and fibrotic lesions within liver in the Ace2 KO mice. The severe liver damage of Ace2 KO mice were also confirmed by the evidence of higher expression of hepatic inflammation-related genes (IL-6 and Tnf) and fibrosis-related genes (Col1a1, Timp1 and Mmp9). Ace2 gene deficiency could lead to a severe inflammation and collagen remodeling in the liver administrated by TAA, and the responses lead the pathogenesis of liver fibrosis. Our studies provided the main messages and favorable study directions of relationship of Ace2 and liver disease.
The aim of this study was to establish an appropriate rat model to study the effect of electroacupuncture (EA) analgesia on acute visceral hyperalgesia. Adult rats received colorectal instillation with different concentrations of acetic acid (AA). Treatment with EA was performed for 30 min at bilateral acupoints of ST-36 and ST-37 in the hind limbs. The visceral sensation of all rats was quantified by scores of abdominal withdrawal reflex (AWR) and discharges of rectus abdominis electromyogram (EMG) in response to colorectal distension (CRD). Two hours after instillation of saline (no AA), 1%, 2%, and 4% AA, there were no, slight, moderate and severe visceral hyperalgesia, respectively. Application of EA significantly relieved the visceral hyperalgesia induced by 2% but not 4% AA. The results suggest that 2% AA acute visceral hyperalgesia in adult rats responds well to EA treatment. This may offer an appropriate model for the investigation of EA effects.
Granulin (Grn) mutations were identified in familial frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) patients with TAR DNA-binding protein of 43 kd (TDP-43) pathology. Grn transcript haploinsufficiency is proposed as a disease mechanism that leads to the loss of functional progranulin (PGRN) protein. Thus, these mutations are strongly involved in FTLD pathogenesis. Moreover, recent findings indicate that Grn mutations are associated with other neurodegenerative disorders with tau pathology, including Alzheimer’s disease. To investigate the influence of PGRN on amyloid beta (Aβ) accumulation, amyloid precursor protein (APP) transgenic mice were interbred with Grn-deficient mice, producing APP transgenic mice harboring the Grn hemizygote (APP/Grn+/−). Brains were collected from 16–18-month-old APP and APP/Grn+/− mice and sequential extraction of proteins, immunoblotting and immunohistochemical analysis were performed. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that the number and area of Aβ plaque was significantly decreased in APP/Grn+/− mice as compared to APP mice. Immunoblotting analysis revealed that Aβ was reduced in the sarkosyl-insoluble fraction of 16–18-month-old APP/Grn+/− mice as compared with that of APP transgenic mice. Our data suggest that PGRN haploinsufficiency may decrease accumulation of Aβ.
Cyclophosphamide (CP) is widely used in anticancer therapy regimens and 2-dechloroethylcyclophosphamide (DECP) is its side-chain dechloroethylated metabolite. N-dechloroethylation of CP mediated by the enzyme CYP3A4 yields nephrotoxic and neurotoxic chloroacetaldehyde (CAA) in equimolar amount to DECP. This study aimed to evaluate the inhibitory effect of ketoconazole (KTZ) on CP metabolism through in vitro and in vivo drug-drug interaction (DDI) research. Long-term treatment of KTZ induces hepatic injury; thus single doses of KTZ at low, middle, and high levels (10, 20, and 40 mg/kg) were investigated for pharmacokinetic DDI with CP. Our in vitro human liver microsome modeling approach suggested that KTZ inhibited CYP3A4 activity and then decreased DECP exposure. In addition, an UHPLC-MS/MS method for quantifying CP, DECP, and KTZ in rat plasma was developed and fully validated with a 4 min analysis coupled with a simple and reproducible one-step protein precipitation. A further in vivo pharmacokinetic study demonstrated that combination use of CP (10 mg/kg) and KTZ (10, 20, and 40 mg/kg) in rats caused a KTZ dose-dependent decrease in main parameters of DECP (Cmax, Tmax, and AUC0–∞) and provided magnitude exposure of DECP (more than a 50% AUC decrease) as a consequence of CYP3A inhibition but had only a small effect on the CP plasma concentration. Our results suggested that combination usage of a CYP3A4 inhibitor like KTZ may decrease CAA exposure and thus intervene against CAA-induced adverse effects in CP clinical treatment.
The Mongolian gerbil has been a useful laboratory animal in many research fields, especially in ischemia studies. However, due to the variation of the circle of Willis (COW), the ischemic model is unstable and various. To solve this problem, we newly established an inbred strain of gerbils, restricting breeding and keeping to F23. The data on the breeding and growth of the animals are described in the present study. The genetic characteristics of F4 to F20 detected by microsatellite DNA and biochemical markers are also shown here. The results demonstrated that the frequency of ischemic model by unilateral carotid occlusion and the frequency of incomplete COW increased, increasing from 50% and 75% in F1 to 88.89% and 100% in F20, respectively. The ratios of consistent patterns of COW in parents were positively related with the number of inbred generations. A reproductive performance analysis indicated that the average size of litters in the inbred gerbils was less than that of outbred gerbils and that adult body weight was also lower in inbred gerbils; also, the pups in the 2nd litter were the best ones chosen to reproduce. The genetic detection results indicated that 26 out of 28 microsatellite loci and all 26 biochemical markers were homozygous in F20, showing comparably identical genetic composition in inbred gerbils. All the data demonstrated that an inbred strain of ischemia-prone gerbil has been established successfully. This strain can be used in stroke research and can largely reduce the number of animals needed in experiments.