Experimental Animals
Online ISSN : 1881-7122
Print ISSN : 1341-1357
ISSN-L : 0007-5124
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Displaying 1-11 of 11 articles from this issue
Review
  • Kenta Onuma, Masaki Watanabe, Nobuya Sasaki
    2024 Volume 73 Issue 3 Pages 234-245
    Published: 2024
    Released on J-STAGE: July 09, 2024
    Advance online publication: February 22, 2024
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    Accurately and promptly assessing pain in experimental animals is extremely important to avoid unnecessary suffering of the animals and to enhance the reproducibility of experiments. This is a key concern for veterinarians, animal caretakers, and researchers from the perspectives of veterinary care and animal welfare. Various methods including ethology, immunohistochemistry, electrophysiology, and molecular biology are used for pain assessment. However, the grimace scale, which was developed by taking cues from interpreting pain through facial expressions of non-verbal infants, has become recognized as a very simple and practical method for objectively evaluating pain levels by scoring changes in an animal’s expressions. This method, which was first implemented with mice approximately 10 years ago, is now being applied to various experimental animals and is widely used in research settings. This review focuses on the usability of the grimace scale from the “cage-side” perspective, aiming to make it a more user-friendly tool for those involved in animal experiments. Differences in facial expressions in response to pain in various animals, examples of applying the grimace scale, current automated analytical methods, and future prospects are discussed.

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Original
  • Tung-Sheng Chen, Wei-Wen Kuo, Chih-Yang Huang
    2024 Volume 73 Issue 3 Pages 246-258
    Published: 2024
    Released on J-STAGE: July 09, 2024
    Advance online publication: March 07, 2024
    JOURNAL OPEN ACCESS
    Supplementary material

    Cardiomyopathy is one of complications related to diabetes. Stem cell transplantation shows potential in diabetic cardiomyopathy treatment. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is one of the major components found in green tea. Although stem cell transplantation and green tea EGCG supplementation show therapeutic effects on cardiomyopathy, the detailed cellular mechanisms in stem cell transplantation coupled with EGCG treatment remain unclear. This study investigates whether adipose-derived stem cells (ADSC) pretreated with EGCG show better protective effect on diabetic cardiomyopathy than ADSC without EGCG pretreatment. A cell model indicated that ADSC pretreated with EGCG increased cell functions including colony formation, migration and survival markers. All of these functions are blocked by small interfering C-X-C motif chemokine receptor 4 (siCXCR4) administration. These findings suggest that ADSC pretreatment with EGCG increases cell functions through CXCR4 expression. A diabetic animal model was designed to verify the above findings, including Sham, DM (diabetes mellitus), DM+ADSC (DM rats receiving autologous transplantation of ADSC) and DM+E−ADSC (DM rats receiving EGCG pretreated ADSC). Compared to the Sham, we found that all of pathophysiological signalings were activated in the DM group, including functional changes (decrease in ejection fraction and fractional shortening), structural changes (disarray and fibrosis) and molecular changes (increases in apoptotic, fibrotic, hypertrophic markers and decreases in survival and longevity markers). E-ADSC (DM+E−ADSC) transplantation shows significant improvement in the above pathophysiological signalings greater than ADSC (DM+ADSC). Therefore, ADSC pretreated with EGCG may contribute to clinical applications for diabetic patients with cardiomyopathy.

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  • Wachiryah Thong-asa, Chatrung Wassana, Kunyarat Sukkasem, Pichcha Inno ...
    2024 Volume 73 Issue 3 Pages 259-269
    Published: 2024
    Released on J-STAGE: July 09, 2024
    Advance online publication: February 01, 2024
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    We investigated the effect of gallic acid (Gal) against neurodegenerative pathophysiology relevant to Parkinsion’s disease (PD) in mice with rotenone-induced toxicity. Forty male institute of cancer research (ICR) mice were randomly divided into four groups: sham-veh, PD-veh (received subcutaneous injection with 2.5 mg/kg/48 h of rotenone); PD-Gal50; and PD-Gal100 (the latter two groups received subcutaneous injection with 2.5 mg/kg/48 h of rotenone and oral gavage with gallic acid 50 and 100 mg/kg/48 h, respectively). All treatments continued for 5 weeks with motor ability assessments once per week using hanging and rotarod tests. Brain tissue evaluation of oxidative status, together with striatal and substantia nigra par compacta (SNc) histological and immunohistological assessments were performed. The results indicate that rotenone significantly induced muscle weakness and motor coordination deficit from the first week of rotenone injection, and a significant increase in neuronal degeneration was presented in both the striatum and SNc. Decreased tyrosine hydroxylase and increment of glia fibrillary acidic protein expression in SNc were depicted. The deteriorating effects of rotenone were ameliorated by gallic acid treatment, especially 100 mg/kg dose. Rotenone did not induce a significant change of lipid peroxidation indicated, but gallic acid exhibited a significant inhibitory effect on the lipid peroxidation increment. Rotenone showed a significant reduction of superoxide dismutase activity, and neither 50 nor 100 mg/kg of gallic acid could alleviate this enzyme activity. In conclusion, gallic acid ameliorated motor deficits and preserving SNc neurons which led to maintaining of the dopaminergic source, including a nurturing effect on supporting astrocytes in mice with rotenone-induced neurodegeneration.

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  • Md. Zahir Uddin Rubel, Osamu Ichii, Takashi Namba, Md. Abdul Masum, Ts ...
    2024 Volume 73 Issue 3 Pages 270-285
    Published: 2024
    Released on J-STAGE: July 09, 2024
    Advance online publication: February 02, 2024
    JOURNAL OPEN ACCESS
    Supplementary material

    Systemic autoimmune diseases (ADs) might affect the morphology and function of gut-associated lymphoid tissue (LTs) indirectly; however, their exact relationship remains unclear. Therefore, we investigated mouse LTs in the anorectal canal and morphologically compared them between MRL/MpJ-Fas+/+ and MRL/MpJ-Faslpr/lpr mice. LT aggregations, also known as rectal mucosa-associated lymphoid tissues (RMALTs), were exclusively seen in the lamina propria and submucosa of the rectum. The mean size and number of the LT aggregations both significantly increased in MRL/MpJ-Faslpr/lpr mice compared to those in MRL/MpJ-Fas+/+ mice. The distance from the anorectal junction to the first LT aggregate was significantly shorter in MRL/MpJ-Faslpr/lpr mice than that in MRL/MpJ-Fas+/+ mice. Immunostaining revealed that the RMALTs included CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+ T cells; B220+ B cells; IBA1+ macrophages; Ki67+ proliferative cells; and PNAd+ high-endothelial venules (HEVs). The numbers of macrophages, proliferative cells, CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells, and HEVs were significantly increased in MRL/MpJ-Faslpr/lpr mice compared to those in MRL/MpJ mice. Furthermore, the gene expression levels of chemokines (Cxcl9 and Cxcl13) and their corresponding receptors (Cxcr3 and Cxcr5) were significantly higher in MRL/MpJ-Faslpr/lpr mice than those in MRL/MpJ-Fas+/+ mice. Although the morphology of rectal epithelium was comparable between the strains, M cell number was significantly higher in MRL/MpJ-Faslpr/lpr mice than in MRL/MpJ-Fas+/+ mice. Thus, ADs could alter RMALT morphology, and quantitative changes in T-cell subsets, proliferative cells, macrophages, HEVs, chemokine expression, and M cells could affect their cell composition and development.

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  • Natsuki Mikami, Chi Lieu Kim Nguyen, Yuki Osawa, Kanako Kato, Miyuki I ...
    2024 Volume 73 Issue 3 Pages 286-292
    Published: 2024
    Released on J-STAGE: July 09, 2024
    Advance online publication: February 07, 2024
    JOURNAL OPEN ACCESS
    Supplementary material

    Vesicular trafficking is essential for the transport of intracellularly produced functional molecules to the plasma membrane and extracellular space. The exocyst complex, composed of eight different proteins, is an important functional machinery for “tethering” in vesicular trafficking. Functional studies have been conducted in laboratory mice to identify the mechanisms by which the deletion of each exocyst factor affect various biological phenomena. Interestingly, each exocyst factor-deficient mutant exhibits a different phenotype. This discrepancy may be due to the function of the exocyst factor beyond its role as a component of the exocyst complex. Male germline-specific conditional knockout (cKO) mice of the Exoc1 gene, which encodes one of the exocyst factors EXOC1 (SEC3), exhibit severe spermatogenesis defects; however, whether this abnormality also occurs in mutants lacking other exocyst factors remains unknown. In this study, we found that exocyst factor EXOC3 (SEC6) was not required for spermatogenesis, but depletion of EXOC7 (EXO70) led to severe spermatogenesis defects. In addition to being a component of the exocyst complex, EXOC1 has other functions. Notably, male germ cell-specific Exoc7 cKO and Exoc1 cKO mice exhibited phenotypic similarities, suggesting the importance of the exocyst complex for spermatogenesis. The results of this study will contribute to further understanding of spermatogenesis from the aspect of vesicular trafficking.

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  • Eri Adachi, Maki Murakoshi, Terumi Shibata, Kenta Shimozawa, Hiroko Sa ...
    2024 Volume 73 Issue 3 Pages 293-301
    Published: 2024
    Released on J-STAGE: July 09, 2024
    Advance online publication: February 16, 2024
    JOURNAL OPEN ACCESS
    Supplementary material

    Progranulin (PGRN) may have two opposing effects—inflammation and anti-inflammation—in different diseases. Although previous studies have reported that PGRN is involved in liver fibrosis, its involvement in tubulointerstitial fibrosis remains to be fully elucidated. Herein, we investigated these issues using PGRN-knockout (KO) mice treated with unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO). Eight-week-old male PGRN-KO and wild-type (WT) mice were euthanized 3 and 7 days following UUO, and their kidneys were harvested for histopathological analysis. The renal expression of PGRN was evaluated by immunohistochemical and/or western blot analyses. The renal mRNA levels of markers related to inflammation (Il1b, Tnf, Il6, Ccl2, and Adgre1) and fibrosis (Tgfb1, Acta2, Fn1, and Col1a2) were evaluated using quantitative PCR. Histological changes such as renal tubular atrophy, urinary casts, and tubulointerstitial fibrosis were significantly improved in UUO-KO mice compared with UUO-WT mice. Quantitative PCR revealed that the mRNA expression levels of all inflammation- and fibrosis-related markers were lower in UUO-KO mice than in UUO-WT mice at 3 and/or 7 days after UUO. Moreover, PGRN and GRN protein levels were higher in the kidneys of UUO-WT mice than in mice that did not undergo UUO. Elevated GRN levels associated with excess PGRN levels may be involved in the occurrence of renal inflammation and fibrosis in UUO mice.

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  • Mira Kato-Suzuki, Yuko Okamatsu-Ogura, Osamu Inanami, Kazuhiro Kimura
    2024 Volume 73 Issue 3 Pages 302-309
    Published: 2024
    Released on J-STAGE: July 09, 2024
    Advance online publication: February 21, 2024
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    Vitamin A is an important nutrient for multiple physiological functions. To elucidate the role of vitamin A in vivo, vitamin A-deficient diets have been often used in mice to establish a vitamin A-deficiency model. However, the information on the appropriate feeding periods and time course of changes in vitamin A content in organs after the start of vitamin A-deficient diet feeding is lacking. This study aimed to assess the retinoids levels in liver and white adipose tissue in mice fed a vitamin A-deficient diet for ≤8 weeks. High-performance liquid chromatography was used to measure the retinoids levels in liver and white adipose tissue every 2 weeks for ≤8 weeks. Vitamin A-deficient diet feeding significantly decreased retinol in the liver over 6 weeks, but retinyl palmitate, a main storage form of vitamin A, was not changed over 8 weeks. The plasma retinol level remained constant throughout the experiment. In white adipose tissue, retinyl palmitate gradually decreased over 8 weeks. These results indicate that vitamin A-deficient diet feeding longer than 6 weeks reduced retinol in liver and retinyl palmitate in white adipose tissue over 8 weeks, although it is not enough for the induction of a whole-body vitamin A deficiency.

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  • Ayaka Saito, Ryosuke Tahara, Michiko Hirose, Masayo Kadota, Ayumi Hase ...
    2024 Volume 73 Issue 3 Pages 310-318
    Published: 2024
    Released on J-STAGE: July 09, 2024
    Advance online publication: March 06, 2024
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    Allele-specific monoallelic gene expression is a unique phenomenon and a great resource for analyzing gene regulation. To study this phenomenon, we established new embryonic stem (ES) cell lines derived from F1 hybrid blastocysts from crosses between four mouse subspecies (Mus musculus domesticus, C57BL/6; M. musculus molossinus, MSM/Ms; M. musculus musculus, PWK; M. musculus castaneus, HMI/Ms) and analyzed the expression levels of undifferentiated pluripotent stem cell markers and karyotypes of each line. To demonstrate the utility of our cell lines, we analyzed the allele-specific expression pattern of the Inpp5d gene as an example. The allelic expression depended on the parental alleles; this dependence could be a consequence of differences in compatibility between cis- and trans-elements of the Inpp5d gene from different subspecies. The use of parental mice from four subspecies greatly enhanced genetic polymorphism. The F1 hybrid ES cells retained this polymorphism not only in the Inpp5d gene, but also at a genome-wide level. As we demonstrated for the Inpp5d gene, the established cell lines can contribute to the analysis of allelic expression imbalance based on the incompatibility between cis- and trans-elements and of phenotypes related to this incompatibility.

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  • Cihan Cakir, Goktan Kuspinar, Kiper Aslan, Cengiz Bozyigit, Isil Kasap ...
    2024 Volume 73 Issue 3 Pages 319-335
    Published: 2024
    Released on J-STAGE: July 09, 2024
    Advance online publication: March 16, 2024
    JOURNAL OPEN ACCESS
    Supplementary material

    Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is frequently integrated as an adjuvant in over a quarter of controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) protocols, despite the ongoing debate regarding its impact. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and mechanism of action of DHEA on ovarian follicular development and ovarian response in rats with varying ovarian reserves. The study involved 75 rats categorized into 15 distinct groups. The ovarian tissues of rats in both the normal ovarian reserve group and the premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) group, induced by 4-vinylcyclohexene diepoxide (VCD) injection, were subjected to histomorphological and biochemical analyses following the administration of DHEA, either alone or in combination with COH. Follicle counting was performed on histological sections obtained from various tissues. Serum concentrations of anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) and the quantification of specific proteins in ovarian tissue, including phosphatase and tensin homolog of chromosome 10 (PTEN), phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), phosphorylated protein kinase B (pAKT), cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2), caspase-3, as well as assessments of total antioxidant status and total oxidant status, were conducted employing the ELISA method. The impact of DHEA exhibited variability based on ovarian reserve. In the POI model, DHEA augmented follicular development and ovarian response to the COH protocol by upregulating the PTEN/PI3K/AKT signaling pathway, mitigating apoptosis, inflammation, and oxidative stress, contrary to its effects in the normal ovarian reserve group. In conclusion, it has been determined that DHEA may exert beneficial effects on ovarian stimulation response by enhancing the initiation of primordial follicles and supporting antral follicle populations.

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  • Julia Chu-Ning Hsu, Hsu-Wen Tseng, Chia-Hui Chen, Tzong-Shyuan Lee
    2024 Volume 73 Issue 3 Pages 336-346
    Published: 2024
    Released on J-STAGE: July 09, 2024
    Advance online publication: March 21, 2024
    JOURNAL OPEN ACCESS

    Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1), a ligand-gated cation channel, is a receptor for vanilloids on sensory neurons and is also activated by capsaicin, heat, protons, arachidonic acid metabolites, and inflammatory mediators on neuronal or non-neuronal cells. However, the role of the TRPV1 receptor in pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion and its potential regulatory mechanisms in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammation has yet to be entirely understood. To investigate the role and regulatory mechanism of the TRPV1 receptor in regulating LPS-induced inflammatory responses, bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) harvested from wild-type (WT) and TRPV1 deficient (Trpv1−/−) mice were used as the cell model. In WT BMDMs, LPS induced an increase in the levels of tumor necrosis factor-α, IL-1β, inducible nitric oxide synthase, and nitric oxide, which were attenuated in Trpv1−/− BMDMs. Additionally, the phosphorylation of inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa-Bα and mitogen-activated protein kinases, as well as the translocation of nuclear factor kappa-B and activator protein 1, were all decreased in LPS-treated Trpv1−/− BMDMs. Immunoprecipitation assay revealed that LPS treatment increased the formation of TRPV1–Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)–cluster of differentiation 14 (CD14) complex in WT BMDMs. Genetic deletion of TRPV1 in BMDMs impaired the LPS-triggered immune-complex formation of TLR4, myeloid differentiation protein 88, and interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase, all of which are essential regulators in LPS-induced activation of the TLR4 signaling pathway. Moreover, genetic deletion of TRPV1 prevented the LPS-induced lethality and pro-inflammatory production in mice. In conclusion, the TRPV1 receptor may positively regulate the LPS-mediated inflammatory responses in macrophages by increasing the interaction with the TLR4–CD14 complex and activating the downstream signaling cascade.

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  • Shuji Takeda, Rika Hoshiai, Miyuu Tanaka, Takeshi Izawa, Jyoji Yamate, ...
    2024 Volume 73 Issue 3 Pages 347-356
    Published: 2024
    Released on J-STAGE: July 09, 2024
    Advance online publication: March 28, 2024
    JOURNAL OPEN ACCESS
    Supplementary material

    Canavan disease (CD) is a fatal hereditary neurological disorder caused by a mutation in the aspartoacylase (ASPA) gene and characterized by neurological signs and vacuolation in the central nervous system (CNS). The mutation inhibits the hydrolysis of N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA) resulting in accumulation of NAA in the CNS. A new Aspa-knockout rat was generated by transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN) technology. Herein we describe the pathological and morphometrical findings in the brain and spinal cords of Aspa-knockout rats. Although Aspa-knockout rats did not show any neurological signs, vacuolation with swollen axons, hypomyelination, and activated swollen astrocytes were observed mainly in the brainstem reticular formation, ascending and descending motor neuron pathway, and in the olfactory tract. Morphometrical analysis revealed no obvious change in the number of neurons. These changes in the CNS are similar to human CD, suggesting that this animal model would be useful for further study of treatment and understanding the pathophysiology of human CD.

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