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 located in Building 10 room 9/C127, the the Ambulatory Care Research Facility (ACRF) in Buildings 6B, 10A, 50 and Building 14. NIAMS animal users work primarily with mice and rats. The NIAMS IRP Animal Program has oversight for 20 Animal Study Proposals (ASPs) using mouse and rat models. The LACU assists researchers with preparing ASPs and has 2 voting members and 1 alternate on the NIAMS Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC). The LACU maintains the foster colony and the sentinel program for the IRP. IRP project areas include arthritis, allergic rhinitis and other transmit receptor-induced cellular responses, recombination/chromatin remodeling using AID transgenic mice, familial Mediterranean fever (FMF), and 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, and myositis) 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 LACU is presenting a poster outlining the successful transfer of 70 lines of transgenic mice over a 2-month period at the 2013 American Association for Laboratory Animal Science National Convention in October. The 10/9C127 Animal Facility is also preparing for the 2014 AAALAC site visit.
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