Abstract: Animal models with an eco-ethological relevance can help in identifying novel and reliable stress-related markers. To this end, 3-month-old C57BL/6J male mice were exposed to social defeat (SD) stress for 10 days as this stressor shows good face and predictive validity for several models of human affective disorders including depression, social phobia and post-traumatic stress disorder. Social avoidance and pain threshold were assessed 24 h and 4 weeks after the end of SD stress, while corticosterone was assayed at the beginning and at the end of the stressful procedure (days 1 and 10). SD subjects were characterized by increased corticosterone levels (30 min following stress exposure), increased latency to approach the social target in the short-term as well as increased emotionality in the long-term. Moreover, an increase in nociceptive threshold (stress-induced analgesia) was found both in the short-term and 4 weeks after the end of stress. These data indicate that the SD paradigm is able to induce emotional changes associated with a stressful/traumatic event. In addition, they indicate that variations in the nociceptive threshold might represent a physiological marker of both short- and long-term effects of stress.
Abstract: Common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) are small non-human primates (NHPs) that are often used for respiratory research. Translational animal models of various pulmonary diseases in marmosets have been developed in favor of models in old world monkeys (OWM, e.g., rhesus or cynomolgus monkeys). The marmoset has the size of a rat (350–450 g), is easier to handle, and the husbandry, care, and management of colonies is much easier compared to OWMs. In contrast to rodents, marmosets provide a high homology to humans, which become especially visible in lung architecture and branching pattern. Features of inflammatory (e.g., COPD) pulmonary diseases can be modeled in marmosets as well the species is used to study bacterial and viral infection. Models for human melioidosis, tuberculosis, anthrax, as well as infections with SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV), influenza A virus and adenovirus are already established. Toxicological studies often use marmoset monkeys for the advantage of immunological identical twins that are produced by a Callitrichinae-specific placentation type, which ultimately causes blood chimerism. Relatively new approaches in gene therapy use marmosets for respiratory disease research. In this review we will give an overview of existing respiratory marmoset models and their impact on biomedical research.
Abstract: Smallpox, one of the most destructive diseases, has been successfully eradicated through a worldwide vaccination campaign. Since immunization programs have been stopped, the number of people with vaccinia virus induced immunity is declining. This leads to an increase in orthopoxvirus (OPXV) infections in humans, as well as in animals. Additionally, potential abuse of Variola virus (VARV), the causative agent of smallpox, or monkeypox virus, as agents of bioterrorism, has renewed interest in development of antiviral therapeutics and of safer vaccines. Due to its high risk potential, research with VARV is restricted to two laboratories worldwide. Therefore, numerous animal models of other OPXV infections have been developed in the last decades. Non-human primates are especially suitable due to their close relationship to humans. This article provides a review about on non-human primate models of orthopoxvirus infections.
Abstract: Prostate cancer bone metastases are associated with a poor prognosis and are considered incurable. Insight into the formation and growth of prostate cancer bone metastasis is required for development of new imaging and therapeutic strategies to combat this devastating disease. Animal models are indispensable in investigating cancer pathogenesis and evaluating therapeutics. Multiple animal models of prostate cancer bone metastasis have been developed, but few effectively model prostatic neoplasms and osteoblastic bone metastases as they occur in men. This review discusses the animal models that have been developed to investigate prostate cancer bone metastasis, with a focus on canine models and also includes human xenograft and rodent models. Adult dogs spontaneously develop benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer with osteoblastic bone metastases. Large animal models, such as dogs, are needed to develop new molecular imaging tools and effective focal intraprostatic therapy. None of the available models fully reflect the metastatic disease seen in men, although the various models have provided important insight into the metastatic process. As additional models are developed and knowledge from the different models is combined, the molecular mechanisms of prostate cancer bone metastasis can be deciphered and targeted for development of novel therapies and molecular diagnostic imaging.
Abstract: It was recently demonstrated that the lone star tick Amblyomma americanum could harbor filarial nematodes within the genus Acanthocheilonema. In this study, Ixodes scapularis (deer) ticks collected from Southern Connecticut were evaluated for their potential to harbor filarial nematodes. Non-engorged nymphal and adult stage Ixodes scapularis tickswere collected in Southern Connecticut using the standard drag method. In situ hybridization with filarial nematode specific sequences demonstrated the presence of filarial nematodes in Ixodes ticks. Filarial nematode specific DNA sequences were amplified and confirmed by direct sequencing in Ixodes nymphal and adult ticks using either general filarial nematode or Onchocercidae family specific PCR primers. Phylogenetic analysis of the 12S rDNA gene sequence indicated that the filarial nematode infecting Ixodes scapularis ticks is most closely related to the species found in Amblyoma americanum ticks and belongs to the genus of Acanthocheilonema. Our data also demonstrated that infection rate of these filarial nematode in Ixodes ticks is relatively high (about 22% and 30% in nymphal and adult Ixodes ticks, respectively). In summary, the results from our studies demonstrated that filarial nematode infection was found in Ixodes ticks similar to what has been found in Amblyomma americanum ticks.
Vet. Sci.2014, 1(1), 3-4; doi:10.3390/vetsci1010003 - published online 12 November 2013 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Medical science has long been informed by the study of animal physiology and pathophysiology, both spontaneous and induced. Physiologist Claude Bernard studied dogs to better understand pancreatic, hepatic and cardiovascular homeostasis [1,2]. Best and Banting uncovered the function of insulin through studies in experimental dogs . More recent studies of obesity in cats have found similarities and interesting differences in the manifestation of the adverse effects of overnutrition between cats and humans . The complete sequencing of the human and mouse genomes, and deep sequencing of pig, cattle, dog and cat have opened up the opportunity to systematically compare genetic similarities and differences [5,6]. [...]