Module 4. Specialized Animal Resource - Generating and maintaining transgenic mouse colonies - Visual Function and non-invasive retinal imaging Timothy Kern, PhD Director;Tadao Maeda, MD, PhD, co-Director Heather Butler, Kathryn Franke, Managers Overview: The Specialized Animal Resource (SAR) Module has been extensively utilized since the first funding cycle in 1997. The function of this Module has been to generate and maintain transgenic mouse colonies for VSRC investigators, and Heather Butler has managed the core since 2005. This core currently breeds and manages more than 60 mouse lines, with some requiring continuous cross-breeding and record keeping. In the last 4 years since the previous submission, the SAR has bred approximately 46,000 mice. In the previous submission in 2006, we added a second full-time technician, Kathryn Franke, to meet the increased needs of VSRC investigators for transgenic mice. In the current submission, we have added a Visual Function and noninvasive retinal imaging sub-Module to provide investigators with the ability to monitor visual function in rodents (thus complementing the histological and structural data that is provided by the Histology Core). Both functions of this Module are located in dedicated space in the Animal Resource Center (ARC) in the basement of the School of Medicine. This facility is a newly renovated, state-of-the-art barrier animal facility dedicated to virus-free mice. The facility is controlled for airflow, temperature and humidity, and these parameters are monitored continuously by remote sensors. The VSRC has dedicated breeding rooms are located adjacent to investigator assigned rooms in the ARC, and animals are transferred daily by the SAR Managers to each investigator's colony. The ARC is fully accredited and employs a highly skilled staff, including three full-time veterinarians and full-time veterinary technicians, in addition to ARC staff required for animal husbandry. SAR Core part A. Specialized Breeding and Animal Generation. Breeding, record keeping of breeding history, and collection of tissue for genotyping (via the Molecular Core) are the primary functions of this Module, and remains unchanged in the present grant submission. SAR Core part B. Small animal visual function and non-invasive retinal imaging sub-Module. This function of this new Module will provide expertise in, and use of 2 ERG units, 2 SLOs, an OCT unit, and an Optomotor machine (which measures the optokinetic response in rodents, yielding measurements analogous to visual acuity and contrast sensitivity). To facilitate use of this sub-Module, the SAR Module Managers, Heather Butler and Katherine Franke, have been trained to use the ERG by Dr. Tadao Maeda, who has extensive experience. Dr. Kern has trained the Managers to use the Optomotor Unit, and staff from the company who sold the unit (Cerebral Mechanics) provided additional in depth training. All of the equipment has been purchased and is already in place in the ARC. No additional staff positions are requested.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZEY1)
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Case Western Reserve University
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