Mouse Specifics Inc.

Quincy, MA, United States

Mouse Specifics Inc.

Quincy, MA, United States
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Hampton T.G.,Mouse Specifics Inc. | Kale A.,Mouse Specifics Inc. | Amende I.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | Tang W.,Mouse Specifics Inc. | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology | Year: 2011

The delta-sarcoglycan-deficient hamster is an excellent model to study muscular dystrophy. Gait disturbances, important clinically, have not been described in this animal model. We applied ventral plane videography (DigiGait) to analyze gait in BIO TO-2 dystrophic and BIO F1B control hamsters walking on a transparent treadmill belt. Stride length was ∼13% shorter (P<.05) in TO-2 hamsters at 9 months of age compared to F1B hamsters. Hindlimb propulsion duration, an indicator of muscle strength, was shorter in 9-month-old TO-2 (247 8 ms) compared to F1B hamsters (272±11 ms; P<.05). Braking duration, reflecting generation of ground reaction forces, was delayed in 9-month-old TO-2 (147±6 ms) compared to F1B hamsters (126±8 ms; P<.05). Hindpaw eversion, evidence of muscle weakness, was greater in 9-month-old TO-2 than in F1B hamsters (17.7±1.2° versus 8.7±1.6° ; P<.05). Incline and decline walking aggravated gait disturbances in TO-2 hamsters at 3 months of age. Several gait deficits were apparent in TO-2 hamsters at 1 month of age. Quantitative gait analysis demonstrates that dystrophic TO-2 hamsters recapitulate functional aspects of human muscular dystrophy. Early detection of gait abnormalities in a convenient animal model may accelerate the development of therapies for muscular dystrophy. © 2011 Thomas G. Hampton et al.


Ables G.P.,Orentreich Foundation for the Advancement of Science Inc. | Ouattara A.,Orentreich Foundation for the Advancement of Science Inc. | Hampton T.G.,Mouse Specifics Inc. | Cooke D.,Orentreich Foundation for the Advancement of Science Inc. | And 3 more authors.
Scientific Reports | Year: 2015

Dietary methionine restriction (MR) in rodents increased lifespan despite higher heart-to-body weight ratio (w/w) and hyperhomocysteinemia, which are symptoms associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease. We investigated this paradoxical effect of MR on cardiac function using young, old, and apolipoprotein E-deficient (ApoE-KO) mice. Indeed, MR animals exhibited higher heart-to-body weight ratio (w/w) and hyperhomocysteinemia with a molecular pattern consistent with cardiac stress while maintaining the integrity of cardiac structure. Baseline cardiac function, which was measured by non-invasive electrocardiography (ECG), showed that young MR mice had prolonged QRS intervals compared with control-fed (CF) mice, whereas old and ApoE-KO mice showed similar results for both groups. Following β-adrenergic challenge, responses of MR mice were either similar or attenuated compared with CF mice. Cardiac contractility, which was measured by isolated heart retrograde perfusion, was similar in both groups of old mice. Finally, the MR diet induced secretion of cardioprotective hormones, adiponectin and fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21), in MR mice with concomitant alterations in cardiac metabolic molecular signatures. Our findings demonstrate that MR diet does not alter cardiac function in mice despite the presence of hyperhomocysteinemia because of the adaptive responses of increased adiponectin and FGF21 levels.


Heier C.R.,Childrens Memorial Research Center | Heier C.R.,Northwestern University | Hampton T.G.,Mouse Specifics Inc. | Wang D.,Northwestern University | And 2 more authors.
BMC Physiology | Year: 2010

Background: Electrocardiography remains the best diagnostic tool and therapeutic biomarker for a spectrum of pediatric diseases involving cardiac or autonomic nervous system defects. As genetic links to these disorders are established and transgenic mouse models produced in efforts to understand and treat them, there is a surprising lack of information on electrocardiograms (ECGs) and ECG abnormalities in neonate mice. This is likely due to the trauma and anaesthesia required of many legacy approaches to ECG recording in mice, exacerbated by the fragility of many mutant neonates. Here, we use a non-invasive system to characterize development of the heart rate and electrocardiogram throughout the growth of conscious neonate FVB/N mice. Results: We examine ECG waveforms as early as two days after birth. At this point males and females demonstrate comparable heart rates that are 50% lower than adult mice. Neonatal mice exhibit very low heart rate variability. Within 12 days of birth PR, QRS and QTc interval durations are near adult values while heart rate continues to increase until weaning. Upon weaning FVB/N females quickly develop slower heart rates than males, though PR intervals are comparable between sexes until a later age. This suggests separate developmental events may contribute to these gender differences in electrocardiography. Conclusions: We provide insight with a new level of detail to the natural course of heart rate establishment in neonate mice. ECG can now be conveniently and repeatedly used in neonatal mice. This should serve to be of broad utility, facilitating further investigations into development of a diverse group of diseases and therapeutics in preclinical mouse studies. © 2010 Heier et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Downs A.M.,East Tennessee State University | Jalloh H.B.,East Tennessee State University | Prater K.J.,East Tennessee State University | Fregoso S.P.,East Tennessee State University | And 3 more authors.
Physiological Reports | Year: 2016

The neurotrophic factor neurturin is required for normal cholinergic innervation of adult mouse heart and bradycardic responses to vagal stimulation. Our goals were to determine effects of neurturin deletion on development of cardiac chronotropic and dromotropic functions, vagal baroreflex response, and cholinergic nerve density in nodal regions of postnatal mice. Experiments were performed on postnatal C57BL/6 wild-type (WT) and neurturin knockout (KO) mice. Serial electrocardiograms were recorded noninvasively from conscious pups using an ECGenie apparatus. Mice were treated with atenolol to evaluate and block sympathetic effects on heart rate (HR) and phenylephrine (PE) to stimulate the baroreflex. Immunohistochemistry was used to label cholinergic nerves in paraffin sections. WT and KO mice showed similar age-dependent increases in HR and decreases in PR interval between postnatal days (P) 2.5 and 21. Treatment with atenolol reduced HR significantly in WT and KO pups at P7.5. PE caused a reflex bradycardia that was significantly smaller in KO pups. Cholinergic nerve density was significantly less in nodal regions of P7.5 KO mice. We conclude that cholinergic nerves have minimal influence on developmental changes in HR and PR, QRS, and QTc intervals in mouse pups. However, cholinergic nerves mediate reflex bradycardia by 1 week postnatally. Deletion of neurturin impairs cholinergic innervation of the heart and the vagal efferent component of the baroreflex early during postnatal development. © 2016 Published by the American Physiological Society and The Physiological Society.


PubMed | The Research Institute at Nationwide Childrens Hospital, Boston College, University of Massachusetts Medical School, University of Texas Medical Branch and Mouse Specifics Inc.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Molecular therapy : the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy | Year: 2016

Aspartoacylase (AspA) gene mutations cause the pediatric lethal neurodegenerative Canavan disease (CD). There is emerging promise of successful gene therapy for CD using recombinant adeno-associated viruses (rAAVs). Here, we report an intracerebroventricularly delivered AspA gene therapy regime using three serotypes of rAAVs at a 20-fold reduced dose than previously described in AspA(-/-) mice, a bona-fide mouse model of CD. Interestingly, central nervous system (CNS)-restricted therapy prolonged survival over systemic therapy in CD mice but failed to sustain motor functions seen in systemically treated mice. Importantly, we reveal through histological and functional examination of untreated CD mice that AspA deficiency in peripheral tissues causes morphological and functional abnormalities in this heretofore CNS-defined disorder. We demonstrate for the first time that AspA deficiency, possibly through excessive N-acetyl aspartic acid accumulation, elicits both a peripheral and CNS immune response in CD mice. Our data establish a role for peripheral tissues in CD pathology and serve to aid the development of more efficacious and sustained gene therapy for this disease.


PubMed | East Tennessee State University and Mouse Specifics Inc.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Physiological reports | Year: 2016

The neurotrophic factor neurturin is required for normal cholinergic innervation of adult mouse heart and bradycardic responses to vagal stimulation. Our goals were to determine effects of neurturin deletion on development of cardiac chronotropic and dromotropic functions, vagal baroreflex response, and cholinergic nerve density in nodal regions of postnatal mice. Experiments were performed on postnatal C57BL/6 wild-type (WT) and neurturin knockout (KO) mice. Serial electrocardiograms were recorded noninvasively from conscious pups using an ECGenie apparatus. Mice were treated with atenolol to evaluate and block sympathetic effects on heart rate (HR) and phenylephrine (PE) to stimulate the baroreflex. Immunohistochemistry was used to label cholinergic nerves in paraffin sections. WT and KO mice showed similar age-dependent increases in HR and decreases in PR interval between postnatal days (P) 2.5 and 21. Treatment with atenolol reduced HR significantly in WT and KO pups at P7.5. PE caused a reflex bradycardia that was significantly smaller in KO pups. Cholinergic nerve density was significantly less in nodal regions of P7.5 KO mice. We conclude that cholinergic nerves have minimal influence on developmental changes in HR and PR, QRS, and QTc intervals in mouse pups. However, cholinergic nerves mediate reflex bradycardia by 1week postnatally. Deletion of neurturin impairs cholinergic innervation of the heart and the vagal efferent component of the baroreflex early during postnatal development.


PubMed | Mouse Specifics Inc.
Type: | Journal: Journal of biomedicine & biotechnology | Year: 2011

The delta-sarcoglycan-deficient hamster is an excellent model to study muscular dystrophy. Gait disturbances, important clinically, have not been described in this animal model. We applied ventral plane videography (DigiGait) to analyze gait in BIO TO-2 dystrophic and BIO F1B control hamsters walking on a transparent treadmill belt. Stride length was 13% shorter (P < .05) in TO-2 hamsters at 9 months of age compared to F1B hamsters. Hindlimb propulsion duration, an indicator of muscle strength, was shorter in 9-month-old TO-2 (247 8ms) compared to F1B hamsters (272 11ms; P < .05). Braking duration, reflecting generation of ground reaction forces, was delayed in 9-month-old TO-2 (147 6ms) compared to F1B hamsters (126 8ms; P < .05). Hindpaw eversion, evidence of muscle weakness, was greater in 9-month-old TO-2 than in F1B hamsters (17.7 1.2 versus 8.7 1.6; P < .05). Incline and decline walking aggravated gait disturbances in TO-2 hamsters at 3 months of age. Several gait deficits were apparent in TO-2 hamsters at 1 month of age. Quantitative gait analysis demonstrates that dystrophic TO-2 hamsters recapitulate functional aspects of human muscular dystrophy. Early detection of gait abnormalities in a convenient animal model may accelerate the development of therapies for muscular dystrophy.


PubMed | Mouse Specifics Inc. and The Orentreich Foundation for the Advancement of Science Inc.
Type: | Journal: Scientific reports | Year: 2015

Dietary methionine restriction (MR) in rodents increased lifespan despite higher heart-to-body weight ratio (w/w) and hyperhomocysteinemia, which are symptoms associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease. We investigated this paradoxical effect of MR on cardiac function using young, old, and apolipoprotein E-deficient (ApoE-KO) mice. Indeed, MR animals exhibited higher heart-to-body weight ratio (w/w) and hyperhomocysteinemia with a molecular pattern consistent with cardiac stress while maintaining the integrity of cardiac structure. Baseline cardiac function, which was measured by non-invasive electrocardiography (ECG), showed that young MR mice had prolonged QRS intervals compared with control-fed (CF) mice, whereas old and ApoE-KO mice showed similar results for both groups. Following -adrenergic challenge, responses of MR mice were either similar or attenuated compared with CF mice. Cardiac contractility, which was measured by isolated heart retrograde perfusion, was similar in both groups of old mice. Finally, the MR diet induced secretion of cardioprotective hormones, adiponectin and fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21), in MR mice with concomitant alterations in cardiac metabolic molecular signatures. Our findings demonstrate that MR diet does not alter cardiac function in mice despite the presence of hyperhomocysteinemia because of the adaptive responses of increased adiponectin and FGF21 levels.


PubMed | Mouse Specifics Inc.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of motor behavior | Year: 2010

Guillot, Asress, Richardson, Glass, and Miller (2008) recently reported that treadmill gait analysis does not detect motor deficits in animal models of Parkinsons disease (PD) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The authors studied aged C57BL/6J mice administered the neurotoxin 1-methyl 4-phenyl 1-, 2-, 3-, 6-tetrahydropyridine to model PD, and a small number of presymptomatic superoxide dismutase 1 G93A mice to study ALS. Several key issues merit discussion to put their observations in perspective. An increasing number of research groups are applying treadmill gait analysis to their rodent models of numerous movement disorders. The conclusions Guillot et al. drew undermine the potential importance of the paradigm of treadmill gait analysis for understanding and treating PD and ALS.

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