The purpose of the Animal Physiology Core is to provide technically advanced physiological evaluation of metabolism in diabetes, obesity, and the associated complications in rodents for Joslin Diabetes Research Center investigators and outside users.
In addition, the Joslin Animal Physiology Core provides hands-on training of investigators and trainees in several physiological procedures. This core collaborates with almost all of the other cores in the distribution of biofluids and tissues for genetic, genomic, and biostatistical analyses.
The Comprehensive Laboratory Animal Monitoring System from Columbus Instruments 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. Measurements are done in the dark and light cycles, fed and fasted states, and can be used with special diets such as high fat feeding. The CLAMS system has 12 chambers and utilizes a gas exchange sensor to monitor VO2 and VCO2. Data is analyzed through the Columbus Instruments CLAX 2.3 software for the preparation of graphs or can be exported to SigmaStat or Excel.
The Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry instrument uses X-ray to assess lean and fat mass distribution, bone mineral density and bone length.
A non-invasive tail-cuff sensor and monitoring system is used for the measurement of systolic and diastolic blood pressure and heart rate. Mice are measured with a system from Visitech Systems (BP-2000a), which can accommodate four mice for simultaneous measurement. Rats can be measured with the Visitech System that has an adapter allowing the conversion of the mouse system to a rat system, or a system from Ueda Electronics (UR-5000).
The four lane modular treadmill has adjustable speed and incline allowing exercise tolerance tests to be run for four mice at a time. The treadmill also has the ability to be connected to the CLAMS system to test maximum oxygen consumption, along with data for carbon dioxide production, respiratory exchange ratio, and caloric heat production.
Two Caron Diurnal Incubators (Model 6022-2) allow for more than one temperature study to be run simultaneously. These incubators have the ability to house animal cages from 5 degrees Celsius up to 30 degrees Celsius. The light cycles can also be adjusted on these incubators for studies using the 12 hour light/dark cycle or studies wishing to examine other variations of light/dark cycles.
An IVIS Spectrum micro CT imaging system (Caliper/Perkin Elmer) 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/or fluorescent reporters. In addition, microCT generated 3D tomography can be measured simultaneously for anatomical context.
The Data Science International telemetry system is a versatile monitoring tool which can be configured depending on the chosen sensors. The core owns several types of telemetry sensors that can measure ECG, EEG, arterial blood pressure, core body temperature and activity in mice and rats at scheduled time points without disturbing the animals.
The PeriScan PIM3 System is a laser doppler based device that measures tissue vascular perfusion. Mice or rats can be measured with this system. Tissue blood flow is displayed as changes in the laser doppler frequency by a color scale. The system exports data in Excel or as a Word report with images.
The E-Z Anesthesia Isoflurane machines are used to anesthetize mice and rats for surgeries. These machines come equipped with a prep chamber to to anesthetize the mouse or rat and the animal can then be moved to a nose cone to allow researchers to easily perform surgeries while the mouse is anesthetized.
The Columbus Instruments Grip Strength Meter allows researchers to examine the strength of mice and rats in vivo.
These cages house eight mice separately and allow for the collection of feces and urine for further examination.
The OxyCycler System (BioSpherix Systems) allows users to investigate the effects of hypoxia and/or hyperoxia. This in vivo system, which can be used for mice or rats, consists of four sealed and independently controlled chambers in which oxygen concentration can be manipulated between 0.1% to 100%.
The Physiology Core personnel calibrate and operate key equipment to ensure data quality. Some equipment can be used by researchers as needed after a training period. Please consult the Physiology Core for all experiments to optimize required endpoints and scheduling. For outside users, the option for animal import into the Joslin animal facility may be available.
If any of your research has been supported in full or in part by our core, please acknowledge our NIH/NIDDK grant as follows: "Supported by the Animal Physiology Core of NIH P30 DK036836."
To learn about the import option and availability of our services, email research assistant Meghan.Halpin [at] joslin.harvard.edu (Meghan Halpin).