For the past 9 years as a funded Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE), the THRCE has assembled an array of methodologies for assessing cardiac and renal function in mice based on the continuous hemodynamic and activity monitoring by telemetric transmitters, blood pressure determinations by plethysmography, single-mouse metabolic cage studies, renal functional experiments, renal nerve activity recording, and cardiac function by echocardiography. These measurement systems have been maintained and operated as a core facility within the THRCE-COBRE, and as such have become instrumental for the progress of much ongoing research at the THRCE. Indeed, these measurement systems are now being used by other researchers at the Tulane University and have led to a number of significant national and international collaborations. The goal of the present proposal is the continuance of this facility as a Mouse Phenotyping Research Core (MPRC) to allow it to provide a broader range of functions to biomedical researchers within the THRCE and the Tulane University. The MPRC will focus on the following specific aims:
Specific Aim 1 : To maintain and operate state-of-the-art methodologies for assessing arterial blood pressure, neural autonomic status and renal function in mouse models of hypertension and associated renal and cardiovascular diseases.
Specific Aim 2 : To maintain and operate a cardiovascular ultrasound system for characterizing mouse cardiac and vascular function in hypertension, renal and cardiovascular disease models.
Specific Aim 3 : To organize and train investigators in the usage of these facilities. The data collection capabilities offered by the MPRC are unique in the State of Louisiana. These capabilities are vital for the THRCE to maintain the research excellence necessary to transition its funding from the COBRE award to other competitive grants over the next 5 years and into the future.
In recent years, there has been a marked increase in the use of mouse models for research in hypertension, renal and cardiovascular areas. However, it is technically challenging to perform measurements of cardiovascular, blood pressure and renal function in mice. Our group of investigators with experience in mouse phenotyping will contribute to many projects using mice.
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