MOUSE NEURODEVELOPMENTAL BEHAVIOR CORE (CORE D) ABSTRACT The Mouse Neurodevelopmental Behavior Core (NBC) at Boston Children's Hospital (BCH) is designed to enable the comprehensive identification and quantification of complex behavioural phenotypes in mouse models of neurodevelopmental disorders. As well as providing cutting edge equipment, we continually validate the best protocols and generate base-line data for quality control management. Having such capabilities for in vivo analysis of mouse models of human disorders facilitates efficacy testing of novel therapeutic compounds and interventions, to provide evidence for transitioning into the clinic. The Core is equipped to perform extensive batteries of tests that phenotype specific social, emotional and cognitive behaviors, as well as motor, auditory and visual function, together with the general health of the animals. In addition, the NBC provides complementary technologies for evaluating the neurobiological mechanisms behind changes in behaviour, such as EEG, ECG and lasers for optogenetic studies. The core also provides a unique opportunity for training fellows, graduate and undergraduate students, as well as PIs, in the in vivo analysis of mouse models of human disorders. Looking ahead, we aim to keep the NBC at the forefront of in vivo analysis of genetic models of human disorders. One major new initiative will be the establishment of a rat behavioral facility to exploit the increasing ability to efficiently modify the genome of rats to create genetic models of tuberosclerosis, Rett syndrome and other neurodevelopmental disorders. This will occupy ~1500 sq.ft of new space for the NBC and we have the required equipment for measuring cognition, anxiety, exploration and motor function in rats as well as EEG and in vivo imaging capacity. Another initiative is to offer reverse light housing for up to 300 mouse cages, so that investigators can study mouse behavior over the full diurnal cycle. We are also developing synergistic partnerships with the Cellular Imaging Core that has a two photon microscope to image neurons in conscious behaving mice, to bring together cutting edge imaging and behavioral technologies to the enable the mechanistic study of neurodevelopmental diseases. Finally, we recognize that the IDDRC network of behavioral Core facilities in the US provides a unique opportunity to establish a set of standards for behavioral assessment and reporting of rodent models of neurodevelopmental disorders.We will run with Jackie Crawley (Director, UC Davis, IDDRC Behavior Core Facility) a series of comparative studies to establish standardized protocols for execution and analysis of neurodevelopmental disorders.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Specialized Center--Cooperative Agreements (U54)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1-DSR-H (50))
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Children's Hospital Boston
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