Project description:An effective and pain-free killing method is required to achieve the goal of euthanasia, a "good death". Overdose of sodium pentobarbital (PB) by intraperitoneal (IP) injection is a widely accepted technique in laboratory rats, but questions remain regarding pain associated with administration. As PB rapidly causes sedation and loss of consciousness, most studies have relied on indirect evidence of pain. The objective of this study was to assess pain associated with IP PB using an appropriate vehicle control. Adult male and female Sprague Dawley (SD) and female Wistar rats (N = 84) were block randomised by sex and strain to receive one of three treatments: 1) 800 mg/kg PB (pH 11), 2) saline or 3) vehicle controls (pH 11 or 12.5). Behavior (Rat Grimace Scale (RGS), writhing, back arching) was evaluated at baseline, before loss of righting reflex (LORR, PB group), and at 80s, 151s and 10 min post-injection (PI; saline and vehicle control groups). In the PB group, mean time to LORR was 78 ± 7.9 seconds. In the vehicle control groups, RGS scores were increased at 151s PI (SD: p = 0.0002, 95%CI 0.73 to 0.20) from baseline, as was relative frequency of writhing (SD: p < 0.0001; Wistar; p = 0.0004). RGS scores remained elevated 10 mins PI (SD: p = 0.0005, 95%CI 0.71 to 0.18; Wistar: p = 0.0234, 95%CI 0.91 to 0.07) but the relative frequency of writhing did not (p > 0.999). The RGS scores and the relative frequency of writhing remained low in the PB and saline groups (p > 0.05). These results show that, vehicle controls for IP PB result in signs associated with pain, pain may not be experienced following IP PB when LORR occurs quickly, and that the effects of PB limit behavioral pain assessments.
Project description:High fructose consumption is one of the hallmarks of Western diets and has been found to induce MeS symptoms in parallel to gut microbial dysbiosis. However, the causality between those two is still elusive. Here, we studied whether a significant modification of gut microbial composition by antibiotics can influence the fructose-induced metabolic changes. Male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were divided into four groups including controls, controls + antibiotics, high fructose diet (HFrD, 60% fructose), HFrD + antibiotics (n = 7-8 in each group) for a period of 8-weeks. The high fructose diet increased blood pressure (BP), triglyceride (TG), fatty liver and the expression of hepatic genes related to lipogenesis, and fructose transport and metabolism. In addition, fructose changed the microbial composition and increased acetic and butyric acids in fecal samples but not in the blood. Antibiotic treatment significantly reduced microbial diversity and modified the microbial composition in the samples. However, minimal or no effect was seen in the metabolic phenotypes. In conclusion, high fructose consumption (60%) induced metabolic changes and dysbiosis in rats. However, antibiotic treatment did not reverse the metabolic phenotype. Therefore, the metabolic changes are probably independent of a specific microbiome profile.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Estrogen is formed by the enzyme aromatase (CYP19A1) and signals via three identified receptors ER? (ESR1), ERß (ESR2), and the G protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER). Understanding the relative contribution of each receptor to estrogenic signaling may elucidate the disparate effects of this sex hormone across tissues, and recent developments in PCR technology allow absolute quantification and direct comparison of multiple targets. We hypothesized that this approach would reveal tissue- and sex-specific differences in estrogen receptor mRNA. METHODS:ESR1, ESR2, GPER, and CYP19A1 were measured in four cardiovascular tissues (heart, aorta, kidney, and adrenal gland), three brain areas (somatosensory cortex, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex), and reproductive tissues (ovaries, mammary gland, uterus, testes) from six male and six female adult Sprague-Dawley rats. RESULTS:GPER mRNA expression was relatively stable across all tissues in both sexes, ranging from 5.49 to 113 copies/ng RNA, a 21-fold difference. In contrast, ESR1/ESR2 were variable across tissues although similar within an organ system. ESR1 ranged from 4.46 to 614 copies/ng RNA (138-fold difference) while ESR2 ranged from 0.154 to 83.1 copies/ng RNA (540-fold). Significant sex differences were broadly absent except for renal ESR1 (female 206 vs. male 614 copies/ng RNA, P?<?0.0001) and GPER (62.0 vs. 30.2 copies/ng RNA, P?<?0.05) as well as gonadal GPER (5.49 vs. 47.5 copies/ng RNA, P?<?0.01), ESR2 (83.1 vs. 0.299 copies/ng RNA, P?<?0.01), and CYP19A1 (322 vs. 7.18 copies/ng RNA, P?<?0.01). Cardiovascular tissues showed a predominance of ESR1, followed by GPER. In contrast, GPER was the predominant transcript in the brain with similarly low levels of ESR1 and ESR2. CYP19A1 was detected at very low levels except for reproductive tissues and the hippocampus. CONCLUSION:While the data indicates a lack of sex differences in most tissues, significant differences were found in the range of receptor gene expression across tissues as well as in the receptor profile between organ systems. The data provide a guide for future studies by establishing estrogen receptor expression across multiple tissues using absolute PCR quantification. This knowledge on tissue-specific estrogen receptor profiles will aid the development of hormonal therapies that elicit beneficial effects in specific tissues.
Project description:General anesthesia is a common procedure in laboratory rats; however, it impairs thermoregulation, rapidly leading to hypothermia as warm core blood is distributed to the cooler periphery. The protective strategy of prewarming before the onset of anesthesia delays hypothermia, but only for a short period. This prospective, randomized, cross-over, experimental study in adult male and female SD rats (n = 8) was designed to compare passive (fleece blanket) and active (temperature controlled heating pad) warming. Initial treatment order was randomized, with a cross-over after a minimum 5 d washout period. Both groups underwent a period of prewarming in a warming box to increase core temperature by 1% (median 0.4 °C). At completion of prewarming, general anesthesia was induced and maintained for 30 min with isoflurane carried in oxygen. Core temperature was monitored for a further 30 min after anesthesia. Active warming resulted in higher core temperatures during anesthesia. During passive warming, hypothermia occurred after approximately 30 min of anesthesia and continued into recovery. In contrast, active warming prevented hypothermia. Prewarming followed by passive warming delayed hypothermia for approximately 30min, but active warming was more effective at maintaining normothermia both during and after general anesthesia.
Project description:Beta-defensins are small cationic peptides that exhibit broad spectrum antimicrobial properties. The majority of beta-defensins identified in humans are predominantly expressed in the male reproductive tract and have roles in non-immunological processes such as sperm maturation and capacitation. Characterization of novel defensins in the male reproductive tract can lead to increased understanding of their dual roles in immunity and sperm maturation.In silico rat genomic analyses were used to identify novel beta-defensins related to human defensins 118-123. RNAs isolated from male reproductive tract tissues of rat were reverse transcribed and PCR amplified using gene specific primers for defensins. PCR products were sequenced to confirm their identity. RT-PCR analysis was performed to analyze the tissue distribution, developmental expression and androgen regulation of these defensins. Recombinant defensins were tested against E. coli in a colony forming unit assay to analyze their antimicrobial activities.Novel beta-defensins, Defb21, Defb24, Defb27, Defb30 and Defb36 were identified in the rat male reproductive tract. Defb30 and Defb36 were the most restricted in expression, whereas the others were expressed in a variety of tissues including the female reproductive tract. Early onset of defensin expression was observed in the epididymides of 10-60 day old rats. Defb21-Defb36 expression in castrated rats was down regulated and maintained at normal levels in testosterone supplemented animals. DEFB24 and DEFB30 proteins showed potent dose and time dependent antibacterial activity.Rat Defb21, Defb24, Defb27, Defb30 and Defb36 are abundantly expressed in the male reproductive tract where they most likely protect against microbial invasion. They are developmentally regulated and androgen is required for full expression in the adult epididymis.