The Methamphetamine Abuse Research Center (MARC) Animal Core will serve the Center by creating selected lines for MA drinking, maintaining this genetic mouse model, assisting with the standardization of behavioral tests needed by the Center, prioritizing distribution and distributing mice, purchasing mice from commercial suppliers, and maintaining an animal tracking database to be used in conjunction with experimental results databases maintained by the MARC Biostatistics and Genetics Core. The Animal Core will be managed by Dr. John Crabbe, who is experienced in developing genetic animal models of addiction-related traits and will oversee maintenance and provision of mice for all Scientific Components of the MARC and for new pilots on an as needed basis. Animal Core generated resources will also be made available to outside investigators. Dr. Crabbe will supervise an experienced staff;members of that staff have been working collaboratively or within Dr. Crabbe's lab for many years. All animals will be housed in AALAC accredited animal facilities under the full-time supervision of a licensed veterinarian. Procedures are in place for the avoidance of viral and bacterial contamination, and a sentinel screening program is used to quickly identify contamination and avoid spread. Careful genetic record-keeping and identification practices for the maintenance of a large number of genotypes have been in place for several years. Key advantages of the Animal Core are cost savings associated with centralized development;behavioral testing and distribution of the selected line mice;standardization of behavioral testing across Components 8 and 9 and 10 than can be extended to other users;controlled environmental conditions;genetic quality control;removal of animal production burden from Component PIs. Decisions about animal distribution will be centralized and based on a number of criteria, including date of request, whether the request is for a MARC project, scientific progress, and date of last distribution to that project. The Core will be able to distribute littermates across projects to minimize litter effects within studies, and increase the potential for cross-experiment association analyses. Core practices will strengthen the data generated by the MARC.
Centralization of genetic model creation, breeding, distribution, and phenotyping allows for innovative research in the Center. A highly unique genetic model of high vs low voluntary MA consumption will be used across multiple components. This will provide rigorous characterization of this important MA trait. The Animal Core benefits the bidirectional translational research of the Center.
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