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Animal Physiology

The Joslin Animal Physiology Core provides technically advanced physiological evaluation of rodents for the study of diabetes, obesity, and their associated complications. With recent award of a Massachusetts Life Science grant a new facility for the Animal Physiology Core Laboratory will be built in 2013 within the Joslin.  This new facility will consolidate services in one facility and expand services provided by the Core. The design of this new facility allows external users without extensive quarantine procedures. The Core personnel offer their expertise in designing and executing a variety of physiological assessments. On-line ordering through Cortex will schedule these services to be performed by the Core personnel. For any inquiries about Core services, please contact Core personnel.  

Services Offered:

1. Energy Expenditure and Metabolism using the CLAMS system:  The CLAMS system allows for simultaneous measurement of numerous parameters including oxygen consumption (VO2), carbon dioxide (CO2) production, respiratory exchange ratio (RER), food and drinking behavior, activity level, and caloric heat production.

2.  Body Composition using DEXA: The Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) scanner uses x-rays to assess lean and fat mass distribution, bone mineral density and bone length.  Body composition by the DEXA scanner can be performed on mice and rats up to 55 grams in weight. 

3. Blood Pressure:  The Animal Physiology Core personnel use non-invasive tail-cuff sensor and monitoring system for the measurement of systolic and diastolic blood pressure and heart rate. 

4.  Studies of Hypoxia and Hyperoxia using the OxyCycler: The Animal Physiology Core provides equipment and training for users to investigate the effects of hypoxia and/or hyperoxia using the OxyCycler System (BioSpherix Systems). 

5. Vascular Studies: A Laser Doppler Perfusion Imaging (LDPI) system is used to provide functional evidence for ischemia-induced changes in vascularization. 

6. Temperature Control Chamber:  Our recently acquired diurnal incubator chamber is used to study the physiological mechanisms of brown fat generation and activation at both thermoneutral and cold temperatures.

7. IVIS Spectrum CT Imaging System:  A new IVIS Spectrum CT imaging system is now being added to the Animal Physiology Core as part of the current expansion.  This system uses novel optical imaging technology to facilitate non-invasive longitudinal monitoring of disease progression, cell trafficking and regulated gene expression patterns in living animals via bioluminescent and fluorescent reporters.

8.  Exercise Procedures:  The Animal Physiology Core has treadmills and wheelcages for acute and long-term training. After training in their use, the researcher will use these independently.

9. Physiological Measurements using Telemetry System: The DSI Telemetry System uses implantable transmitters to measure a number of physiological parameters in mice. Some of these parameters include, but are not limited to, blood pressure and activity, heart rate and activity, and body temperature and activity - all of which are measured telemetrically from the appropriate transmitter inside the individual mouse.

10. Metabolic Cages: The Metabolic Cages are used to collect by-products from an individual rodent as each chamber accurately separates urine from feces.

Page last updated: September 20, 2014