Source: Kay Stewart, RVT, RLATG, CMAR; Valerie A. Schroeder, RVT, RLATG. University of Notre Dame, IN
Mice and rats account for over 90% of the animals used for biomedical research. The proper care of these research animals is critical to the outcome of experiments. There are general procedures that apply to the majority of these mice and rats, but some of the animals, such as the immunocompromised ones, require additional steps to be taken to sustain them for experimentation.
Commonly used immunocompromised mice include those that have naturally occurred in inbred mice and those that have been created through genetic engineering. The first immunocompromised mice used in research were "nude" mice. The BALB/c Nude (nu) mouse was discovered in 1966, within a BALB/c colony that was producing mice lacking both hair and a thymus. These athymic mice have an inhibited immune system that is devoid of T cells. The value of this animal was soon discovered for the use in studies of microbial infections, immune deficiencies, and autoimmunity. Although not as commonly used as the nude mouse, there is also a nude rat. The nude rat is T cell deficient and shows depleted cell populations in thymus-dependent areas of peripheral lymphoid organs. Another naturally occurring immune deficient mouse is the severe comb…
Lab Animal Research
Reaching tasks are employed in behavioral neuroscience to investigate motor learning and forelimb dexterity. Much like human hands, rodents have dexterous forepaws, which are necessary for executing coordinated and precise motor movements. Experimenters may utilize food rewards to train rodents to reach and for testing their reaching abilities. These tasks help behavioral neuroscientist in understanding how CNS injuries, such as a stroke, may impair reaching ability and dexterity in humans.
This video begins by discussing the principles and neurobiology of forelimb use in rodents, and then explains a protocol on how to conduct reaching experiments using different types of food rewards. Applications section reviews studies that involve reaching and food handling in animal models of CNS injury.…
Motor control involves integration and processing of sensory information by our nervous system, followed by a response through our skeletal system to perform a voluntary or involuntary action. It is vital to understand how our neuroskeletal system controls motor behavior in order to evaluate injuries pertaining to general movement, reflexes, and coordination. An improved understanding of motor control will help behavioral neuroscientists in developing useful tools to treat motor disorders, such as Parkinson's or Huntington's disease.
This video briefly reviews the neuroanatomical structures and connections that play a major role in controlling motion. Fundamental questions currently being asked in the field of motor control are introduced, followed by some of the methods being employed to answer those questions. Lastly, the application sections reviews a few specific experiments conducted in neuroscience labs interested in studying this phenomenon.…