The LACU assists the NIAMS IRP investigators with their research involving animals. Such animals are housed in shared animal facilities on the NIH campus including the NIAMS LACU directly overseen facility located in Building 10 in 9/C127 in the ACRF Buildings 6B, 10A, 50 and the Building 14 complex. NIAMS animal users work primarily with mice, but may also use rats, rabbits and fish. The NIAMS IRP Animal Program has oversight for 25 Animal Study Proposals (ASPs) using mouse, rat, fish, and rabbit models. The LACU assists researchers prepare ASPs and has 3 voting members and 1 alternate on the NIAMS Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC). It also maintains the sentinel IRP projects include arthritis, allergic rhinitis and other transmit receptor-induced cellular responses, recombination/chromatin remodeling using AID transgenic mice, familial Mediterranean fever (FMF), Tnf receptor associated periodic syndrome. Research involves muscle and related diseases (experimentation with: N-RAP protein, glycogen storage disease Type II, SIRT1 gene, myofibril assembly, myositis including drug induced, and the voice generating muscle in Midshipman fish) and sub-cellular organelles and cytoskeleton in skeletal muscle as well as in vitro experiments examining retroviral transduction, bone marrow transplantation, and epidermal differentiation using fetal and adult skin tissues. Many of the institutes studies involve apoptosis and autoimmunity, as well as cartilage studies focused on tissue-engineered cartilage, chondrogenesis, GDF-F, COMP and osteoarthritis. The NIAMS IRP LACU facilitated the accreditation of NIH with the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AALACi) during the program review and inspection in 2007 and is working to maintain the accreditation after the next inspection.
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