Animal Model in Biomedical Research

Dear Colleagues,

Animals have long been used in biomedical reseach and contributed to finding solutions to biological and medical issues. Laboratory animal models have been developed for the study of human diseases; as a result, they have contributed to improving human health by helping scientists better understand disease physiopathology and thus more accurately identify molecular targets of drug treatment. Today, a variety of animal models are still being developed and are currently being utilized for research purposes in laboratories.

Therefore, this Topic will consider articles on all types of in vivo studies with animal models including genetics, behavioural, diseases models, and bioinformatics. Additionally, we also welcome submission of research focusing on the physiopathology of diseases, molecular mechanisms and actions of biologically active compounds in animal disease models.

Deadline for abstract submissions: 31 August 2021.
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Topic Board

Prof. Dr. Marc Ekker
E-Mail Website
Topic Editor-in-Chief
Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada
Interests: brain development and regeneration; development of dopamine and GABA neurons; control of gene expression; transgenic models; evolution of developmental mechanisms; zebrafish models of disease including Parkinson's disease
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Dong Kwon Yang
E-Mail
Topic board member
Department of Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Jeonbuk National University, Iksan 54596, Korea
Interests: cardiovascular diseases; oxidative stress; mitochondria; natural compounds; diabetes; liver toxicity; animal models of diseases
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Keywords

  • animal models
  • in vivo study
  • genetics
  • bioactive compounds
  • disease model
  • preclinical compounds testing

Relevant Journals List

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Biomedicines
biomedicines
6.081 3.6 2013 16.34 Days 2000 CHF Submit
Pharmaceutics
pharmaceutics
6.321 4.7 2009 13.45 Days 2200 CHF Submit
Pharmaceuticals
pharmaceuticals
5.863 4.6 2004 13.7 Days 1800 CHF Submit
Cancers
cancers
6.639 4.4 2009 17.04 Days 2200 CHF Submit
Vaccines
vaccines
4.422 2.7 2013 14.56 Days 2000 CHF Submit

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Article
Standardized Method for the Assessment of Behavioral Responses of Zebrafish Larvae
Biomedicines 2021, 9(8), 884; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biomedicines9080884 - 24 Jul 2021
Abstract
Zebrafish are easy to breed in a laboratory setting as they are extremely fertile and produce dozens of eggs per set. Because zebrafish eggs and the skin of the early-stage larvae are transparent, their embryos and the hearts and muscles of their larvae [...] Read more.
Zebrafish are easy to breed in a laboratory setting as they are extremely fertile and produce dozens of eggs per set. Because zebrafish eggs and the skin of the early-stage larvae are transparent, their embryos and the hearts and muscles of their larvae can be easily observed. Multiple rapid analyses of heart rate and behavior can be performed on these larvae simultaneously, enabling investigation of the influence of neuroactive substances on abnormal behavior, death, and associated pathogenetic mechanisms. Zebrafish larvae are becoming increasingly popular among researchers and are used in laboratories worldwide to study various vertebrate life phenomena; more experimental systems using zebrafish will undoubtedly be developed in the future. However, based on the available literature, we believe that the conceptualization of a protocol based on scientific evidence is necessary to achieve standardization. We exposed zebrafish larvae at 6–7 days post-fertilization to 50 repeated light–dark stimuli at either 15-min or 5-min intervals. We measured the traveled distance and habituation time through a video tracking apparatus. The traveled distance stabilized after the 16th repetition when the zebrafish were exposed to light–dark stimuli at 15-min intervals and after the 5th repetition when exposed at 5-min intervals. Additionally, at 15-min intervals, the peak of the traveled distance was reached within the first minute in a dark environment, whereas at 5-min intervals, it did not reach the peak even after 5 min. The traveled distance was more stable at 5-min intervals of light/dark stimuli than at 15-min intervals. Therefore, if one acclimatizes zebrafish larvae for 1 h and collects data from the 5th repetition of light/dark stimuli at intervals of 5 min in the light/dark test, a stable traveled distance result can be obtained. The establishment of this standardized method would be beneficial for investigating substances of unknown lethal concentration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Animal Model in Biomedical Research)
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Article
Investigation of the lncRNA THOR in Mice Highlights the Importance of Noncoding RNAs in Mammalian Male Reproduction
Biomedicines 2021, 9(8), 859; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biomedicines9080859 - 22 Jul 2021
Abstract
THOR is a highly conserved testis-specific long noncoding RNA (lncRNA). The interaction between THOR and the development of the male reproductive system remains unclear. Herein, CRISPR/Cas9 technology was used to establish a stable THOR-deficient mouse model, and the relationship between THOR and [...] Read more.
THOR is a highly conserved testis-specific long noncoding RNA (lncRNA). The interaction between THOR and the development of the male reproductive system remains unclear. Herein, CRISPR/Cas9 technology was used to establish a stable THOR-deficient mouse model, and the relationship between THOR and the fertility of adult male mice was investigated. The male mice in which THOR was deleted were smaller than the WT male mice. Moreover, their survival rate was reduced by 60%, their fertility was reduced by 50%, their testicular size and sperm motility were reduced by 50%, their testicular cell apoptosis was increased by 7-fold, and their ratio of female-to-male offspring was imbalanced (approximately 1:3). Furthermore, to elucidate the mechanisms of male reproductive system development, the mRNA levels of THOR targets were measured by qRT-PCR. Compared with WT mice, the THOR-deficient mice exhibited significantly decreased mRNA levels of IGF2BP1, c-MYC, IGF1, and IGF2. MEK-ERK signaling pathway expression was downregulated as determined by Western blot. We found that THOR targeted the MER-ERK signaling pathway downstream of IGF2 by binding to IGF2BP1 and affected testicular and sperm development in male mice. These results may also provide perspectives for exploring the roles of lncRNAs in human reproductive development and the pathogenesis and potential therapeutic targets of infertility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Animal Model in Biomedical Research)
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Article
Morphological Evidence of Telocytes in Skeletal Muscle Interstitium of Exercised and Sedentary Rodents
Biomedicines 2021, 9(7), 807; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biomedicines9070807 - 13 Jul 2021
Abstract
Skeletal muscle atrophy, resulting from states of hypokinesis or immobilization, leads to morphological, metabolic, and functional changes within the muscle tissue, a large variety of which are supported by the stromal cells populating the interstitium. Telocytes represent a recently discovered population of stromal [...] Read more.
Skeletal muscle atrophy, resulting from states of hypokinesis or immobilization, leads to morphological, metabolic, and functional changes within the muscle tissue, a large variety of which are supported by the stromal cells populating the interstitium. Telocytes represent a recently discovered population of stromal cells, which has been increasingly identified in several human organs and appears to participate in sustaining cross-talk, promoting regenerative mechanisms and supporting differentiation of local stem cell niche. The aim of this morphologic study was to investigate the presence of Telocytes in the tibialis anterior muscle of healthy rats undergoing an endurance training protocol for either 4 weeks or 16 weeks compared to sedentary rats. Histomorphometric analysis of muscle fibers diameter revealed muscle atrophy in sedentary rats. Telocytes were identified by double-positive immunofluorescence staining for CD34/CD117 and CD34/vimentin. The results showed that Telocytes were significantly reduced in sedentary rats at 16 weeks, while rats subjected to regular exercise maintained a stable Telocytes population after 16 weeks. Understanding of the relationship between Telocytes and exercise offers new chances in the field of regenerative medicine, suggesting possible triggers for Telocytes in sarcopenia and other musculoskeletal disorders, promoting adapted physical activity and rehabilitation programmes in clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Animal Model in Biomedical Research)
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Article
Fusion Protein Vaccine Based on Ag85B and STEAP1 Induces a Protective Immune Response against Prostate Cancer
Vaccines 2021, 9(7), 786; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/vaccines9070786 - 13 Jul 2021
Abstract
(1) Background: There are currently limited treatments for castration-resistant prostate cancer. Immunotherapy involving Sipuleucel-T has increasingly drawn attention for prostate cancer management. BCG plays a vital role in treating bladder cancer, mainly by inducing immune activation, but is rarely used for prostate cancer. [...] Read more.
(1) Background: There are currently limited treatments for castration-resistant prostate cancer. Immunotherapy involving Sipuleucel-T has increasingly drawn attention for prostate cancer management. BCG plays a vital role in treating bladder cancer, mainly by inducing immune activation, but is rarely used for prostate cancer. (2) Methods: The TCGA database, PCR, and Western blotting were used to analyze the expression of STEAP1 in mouse and human tissues. Then, we constructed a fusion protein vaccine with Mycobacterium tuberculosis Ag85B and three repeated octapeptide epitopes of a six-transmembrane epithelial antigen of the prostate 1 (STEAP1186-193), Ag85B-3×STEAP1186-193. The uptake of the fusion protein vaccine by DCs was evaluated by confocal microscopy, and DC markers were detected using flow cytometry after incubation with the fusion protein. The immune response against prostate cancer was evaluated by the LDH assay and xenografts in vitro and in vivo. Then, the tumor microenvironment was determined using IHC and ELISA. In addition, the epitope was mutated using CRISPR-Cas9 to illustrate that the fusion protein elicited immunization against STEAP1. (3) Results: The TCGA database analysis, PCR, and Western blotting showed that STEAP1 was highly expressed in human and murine prostate cancer. After the uptake of the purified fusion protein vaccine by DCs, CD11c, CD80, CD86, and MHC II were upregulated and triggered a cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response against TRAMP-C1 and RM1 cells in vitro. Furthermore, the fusion protein vaccine inhibited tumor growth and improved the tumor microenvironment in vivo, with more CD3+ cells and fewer FOXP3+ cells in the tumor. Serum IFN-γ and IL-2 were significantly higher than in the control group, while IL-4 expression was lower, indicating that the fusion protein vaccine activated Th1 immunity. The immune response against prostate cancer was greatly suppressed when the antigen targets were knocked out using CRISPR-Cas9. (4) Conclusion: In summary, our results provide the first evidence that a vaccine based on a fusion protein consisting of Ag85B and a prostate cancer octapeptide epitope with complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA), triggers a robust immune response and inhibits tumor growth in murine prostate cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Animal Model in Biomedical Research)
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Article
Evaluation of Pulp Repair after BiodentineTM Full Pulpotomy in a Rat Molar Model of Pulpitis
Biomedicines 2021, 9(7), 784; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biomedicines9070784 - 06 Jul 2021
Abstract
Dental pulp is a dynamic tissue able to heal after injury under moderate inflammatory conditions. Our study aimed to evaluate pulp repair under inflammatory conditions in rats. For this purpose, we developed a rat model of controlled pulpitis followed by pulpotomy with a [...] Read more.
Dental pulp is a dynamic tissue able to heal after injury under moderate inflammatory conditions. Our study aimed to evaluate pulp repair under inflammatory conditions in rats. For this purpose, we developed a rat model of controlled pulpitis followed by pulpotomy with a tricalcium silicate-based cement. Fifty-four cavities were prepared on the occlusal face of the maxillary upper first molar of 27 eight-week-old male rats. E. coli lipopolysaccharides at 10 mg/mL or phosphate-buffered saline PBS was injected after pulp injury. Non-inflamed molars were used as controls. Levels of inflammation-related molecules were measured 6 and 24 h after induction by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay of coronal pulp samples. Pulp capping and coronal obturation after pulpotomy were performed with tricalcium silicate-based cement. Four and fifteen days after pulpotomy, histological and immunohistochemical analysis was performed to assess pulp inflammation and repair processes. Our results showed significantly higher levels of innate inflammatory proteins (IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α and CXCL-1) compared with those in controls. Moderate residual inflammation near the capping material was demonstrated by histology and immunohistochemistry, with the presence of few CD68-positive cells. We showed that, in this model of controlled pulpitis, pulpotomy with BiodentineTM allowed the synthesis at the injury site of a mineralized bridge formed from mineralized tissue secreted by cells displaying odontoblastic characteristics. Analysis of these data suggests overall that, with the limitations inherent to findings in animal models, pulpotomy with a silicate-based cement is a good treatment for controlling inflammation and enhancing repair in cases of controlled pulpitis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Animal Model in Biomedical Research)
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Article
CCR5 Antagonist Maraviroc Inhibits Acute Exacerbation of Lung Inflammation Triggered by Influenza Virus in Cigarette Smoke-Exposed Mice
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(7), 620; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14070620 - 28 Jun 2021
Abstract
Influenza A virus (IAV) infection is a common cause of acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD). Since macrophage inflammatory protein 1 α, a chemokine that acts through CC-chemokine receptor (CCR)-5, appears elevated in COPD patients’ airways, we evaluated whether CCR5 antagonist [...] Read more.
Influenza A virus (IAV) infection is a common cause of acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD). Since macrophage inflammatory protein 1 α, a chemokine that acts through CC-chemokine receptor (CCR)-5, appears elevated in COPD patients’ airways, we evaluated whether CCR5 antagonist Maraviroc could inhibit the exacerbated lung inflammatory response noted after IAV H1N1 infection in mice exposed to cigarette smoke (Cs). C57BL/6 mice, subjected or not to Cs inhalation for 11 days, were infected with H1N1 at day 7. Maraviroc (10 mg/kg) or dexamethasone (1 mg/kg) were given in a therapeutic schedule, followed by the analyses of lung function, survival rate, and inflammatory changes. As compared to mice subjected to Cs or H1N1 alone, the insult combination significantly worsened airway obstruction, neutrophil infiltration in the airways, and the survival rate. All changes were sensitive to Maraviroc but not dexamethasone. Maraviroc also reduced the accumulation of neutrophils and macrophages as well as CXCL1 production in the lung tissue, and serum levels of IL-6, whereas comparable viral titers in the lungs were noted in all infected groups. Collectively, these findings suggest that Maraviroc oral treatment could be an effective therapy for controlling acute exacerbations of respiratory diseases such as COPD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Animal Model in Biomedical Research)
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Article
Allergen Exposure in Murine Neonates Promoted the Development of Asthmatic Lungs
Biomedicines 2021, 9(6), 688; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biomedicines9060688 - 18 Jun 2021
Abstract
We previously demonstrated that fetal allergen exposure caused T-helper 2 (Th2) cell sensitization. Although neonates are immunologically more mature than fetuses, asthmatic lungs were reportedly mitigated by neonatal allergen administration, mechanically referring to regulatory T-cells and TGF-β signaling but lacking the immunological [...] Read more.
We previously demonstrated that fetal allergen exposure caused T-helper 2 (Th2) cell sensitization. Although neonates are immunologically more mature than fetuses, asthmatic lungs were reportedly mitigated by neonatal allergen administration, mechanically referring to regulatory T-cells and TGF-β signaling but lacking the immunological profiles after neonatal exposure. To reappraise the immunological outcome of neonatal allergen exposure, we injected adjuvant-free ovalbumin intraperitoneally into 2-day-old BALB/c neonates, followed by aerosolized ovalbumin inhalation in adulthood. Mice were examined for the immunological profiles specifically after neonatal exposures, lung function and histology (hematoxylin-eosin or periodic acid Schiff staining), and gene expressions of intrapulmonary cytokines (IL-4, IL-5, IL-13 and IFN-γ) and chemokines (CCL17, CCL22, CCL11 and CCL24). Neonatal ovalbumin exposure triggered Th2-skewed sensitization and ovalbumin-specific IgE production. Subsequent ovalbumin inhalation in adulthood boosted Th2 immunity and caused asthmatic lungs with structural and functional alterations of airways. Gender difference mainly involved airway hyperresponsiveness and resistance with greater female susceptibility to methacholine bronchospastic stimulation. In lungs, heightened chemoattractant gene expressions were only granted to neonatally ovalbumin-sensitized mice with aerosolized ovalbumin stress in adulthood, and paralleled by upregulated Th2 cytokine genes. Thus, aeroallergen stress in atopic individuals might upregulate the expression of intrapulmonary chemoattractants to recruit Th2 cells and eosinophils into the lungs, pathogenically linked to asthma development. Conclusively, murine neonates were sensitive to allergen exposures. Exposure events during neonatal stages were crucial to asthma predisposition in later life. These findings from a murine model point to allergen avoidance in neonatal life, possibly even very early in utero, as the best prospect of primary asthma prevention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Animal Model in Biomedical Research)
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Article
Chronic Glaucoma Using Biodegradable Microspheres to Induce Intraocular Pressure Elevation. Six-Month Follow-Up
Biomedicines 2021, 9(6), 682; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biomedicines9060682 - 16 Jun 2021
Abstract
Background: To compare two prolonged animal models of glaucoma over 24 weeks of follow-up. A novel pre-trabecular model of chronic glaucoma was achieved by injection of biodegradable poly lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) microspheres (10–20 µm) (Ms20/10) into the ocular anterior chamber to progressively increase [...] Read more.
Background: To compare two prolonged animal models of glaucoma over 24 weeks of follow-up. A novel pre-trabecular model of chronic glaucoma was achieved by injection of biodegradable poly lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) microspheres (10–20 µm) (Ms20/10) into the ocular anterior chamber to progressively increase ocular hypertension (OHT). Methods: Rat right eyes were injected to induce OHT: 50% received a suspension of Ms20/10 in the anterior chamber at 0, 2, 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20 weeks, and the other 50% received a sclerosing episcleral vein injection biweekly (EPIm). Ophthalmological clinical signs, intraocular pressure (IOP), neuroretinal functionality measured by electroretinography (ERG), and structural analysis of the retina, retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) and ganglion cell layer (GCL) protocols using optical coherence tomography (OCT) and histological exams were performed. Results: Both models showed progressive neuroretinal degeneration (p < 0.05), and contralateral eye affectation. The Ms20/10 model showed a more progressive increase in IOP and better preservation of ocular surface. Although no statistical differences were found between models, the EPIm showed a tendency to produce thicker retinal and thinner GCL thicknesses, slower latency and smaller amplitude as measured using ERG, and more aggressive disturbances in retinal histology. In both models, while the GCL showed the greatest percentage loss of thickness, the RNFL showed the greatest and earliest rate of thickness loss. Conclusions: The intracameral model with biodegradable microspheres resulted more like the conditions observed in humans. It was obtained by a less-aggressive mechanism, which allows for adequate study of the pathology over longer periods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Animal Model in Biomedical Research)
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