Critical to this Program Project Grant grant is the availability of subjects. Core B will take responsibility for the maintenance and breetding of subjects, and will help conduct the birth interventions paradigms that are at the heart ofthe POl, including scheduling the birth of experimental subjects and the distribution of voles and tissue samples necessary for Projects I through III. The prairie vole has been chosen as the animal model because it has a human-like autonomic nervous system, a social system characterized by high levels of sociality, long lasting pair bonds, high levels of paternal care and high levels of oxytocin (OT) - in the range of those measured in humans. Voles will be housed and bred at the animal facility at Northeastern University. The NEU Animal Facility is AAALAC accredited, with OLAW Assurance and is registered with the USDA. All housing, care and use will be under the under the guidelines set by the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (8th Edition), the Animal Welfare Act and under the oversight of Northeastern's IACUC, which follows these doctrines.
This Core will manage the production of subjects (prairie voles) for the POl. Because of their unique behavioral and biological features, prairie voles are essential to this POl. This Core is critical to the POl since the animals to be used here cannot be purchased commercially.