The Jackson Laboratory (TJL) is well recognized as a world leading mammalian genetics research institution. A major focus of research at TJL is the development of mouse models for the study of basic biologic systems. Sixteen of the 36 investigators at TJL use hematological analysis in their research and only have available a Model ZBI Coulter Counter, circa 1960. Funds provided by this award will be used to purchase an Advia 120 automated hematology analyzer. This benchtop instrument will perform over 50 different whole blood cell parameter measurements in under a minute. The Advia 120 comes with veterinary software, which includes 3 preset mouse strain settings. The instrument automatically isolates the different blood components - white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets, and reticulocytes - then a laser is used to detect, quantitate, and characterize these cells. In addition to total counts and percentages, the Advia 120 produces cytograms and histograms on the cellular components of each sample.
The mouse has a long tradition as a model organism for understanding mammalian genetics and developmental biology. The ability to create specific induced mutations through gene targeting technology has made the mouse an even more powerful research animal. Almost half of the researchers at TJL are studying mouse mutants with inherited conditions in which the hematologic system is affected. The Advia 120 will allow TJL scientists to expand the scope of their ongoing research projects because of the rapid generation of over 50 whole blood parameters. The Advia will be used to collect data on new spontaneous mutant mice, specific existing known mutant mice with blood cells affected, aneuploid mice, bone marrow reconstitution studies. The comprehensive blood profile it provides will allow a more thorough examination of mutant mice than is possible with the current technology at TJL and enable investigators to gain a better understanding of the mammalian hematologic system. In addition, avenues of research that are currently impractical can be explored. Finally, the instrument will enable researchers to identify new models for hematologic research by screening TJL's large holdings of mice with hematological abnormalities and provide a mechanism to dissect the causes and the interaction with other non-hematologic genetic anomalies. The instrument will be housed and maintained by the Flow Cytometry Scientific Service and made available to all researchers at TJL.