Animal Care and Use Program Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) is one of the nation's oldest and most respected nonprofit biomedical research institutes and fosters a worldwide reputation for excellence by following an innovative cross-disciplinary approach to medical research. Dedicated to understanding and developing more effective treatments for human disease, OMRF's scientists routinely employ animal models and recognize the imperative of integrating the ethical and humane treatment of research animal subjects into the research endeavor. Since its incorporation in 1946, OMRF has grown substantially while consistently striving for excellence in its animal care and use program. In keeping with this, we intend to renovate our oldest vivarium, located in the Chapman building, to a state-of-the-art animal facility. OMRF houses more unique transgenic, mutant and immunocompromised mice than all of the major research institutions in Oklahoma combined. Many of these rodents serve as unique research models used by investigators not only locally but also nationally and worldwide. OMRF animal facilities provide housing and rederivation services for researchers from the OMRF, the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, Dean McGee Eye Institute and the Veterans Administration Hospital.
of the Renovation to the Research Projects The Chapman vivarium is the vivarium closest to the research laboratories of Drs. Thompson, Alberola-lla, Kincade, Sun, Olson, and Wang (as well as additional non-COBRE investigators). Although some of the facility's structural design and architectural finish is outdated, the health status ofthe rodent colonies is presently at a high level similar to that in the rodent barrier at Bell;however, its entry requirements are less strict. As the barrier facility is preferably reserved for breeding colonies, the Chapman vivarium is ideal for experimental animals from the perspective of ease of accessibility, proximity to research labs, smaller rooms for separation of research colonies providing a quiet environment and contemporary housing equipment including individually ventilated cages and automatic watering systems. Two COBRE-supported Junior Investigators will use this facility. Lorin Olson, Ph.D. will use sophisticated mouse models to investigate the consequences of constitutive PDGF receptor signaling on the development of fibrosis. Weidong Wang, Ph.D. will evaluate the potential of various pancreatic progenitor cells to develop into functioning p-cells by transplanting them into mice and testing the ability of the mice to maintain glucose control. Many investigators at OMRF are sharing animals with other institutions, sending genetically engineered mice to and also receiving mutant lines from collaborators. There are about 50-60 incoming shipments per year with up to 6 in quarantine housing at the same time. In contrast to approved commercial vendors, nonapproved vendors/institutions often ship animals of partially unknown health status through a transport process that is less controlled from a biocontainment standpoint. Therefore, those rodents undergo a quarantine period and subsequent intense testing for infectious agents. In the high pace of the current research environment, keeping rodent colonies specific pathogen free is challenging, and isolated outbreaks of infections occur. These require subsequent treatment or depopulation ofthe respective housing area. If this has occurred at a collaborator's facility, it leads, in general, to diversion of the animals into the PHF facility rather than to the OMRF campus quarantine, even if those rodents had not been held directly in the affected rooms but simply in the same vivarium. The latter causes undesirable obstacles due to the remote location and introduction of unwanted variables into research experiments. To control this, animals must be rederived, delaying studies and wasting valuable resources. A quarantine area with separate, smaller rooms instead of a large quarantine room will allow isolation of shipments and acceptance of rodents with a less than perfect health report and therefore accelerate studies. Thus, the proposed renovations would benefit Junior Investigators supported directly by this COBRE as well as all the scientists at OMRF using mouse models.
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