Preclinical Studies Core

Preclinical Studies Core

The Preclinical Studies Core provides state-of-art models for the study of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in mice, rats, and ferrets. It is comprised of three centralized facilities and is managed by expertly trained staff who assist with protocol development for modeling TBI and behavioral assessments. The Core’s team oversees the facilities’ scheduling, equipment calibration, repair, and maintenance. The models include:

The Core provides thirty test apparatuses and/or procedures for behavioral testing in mice. As appropriate, the Stoelting ANY-maze Behavioral Tracking System software is utilized to make digitized records of mouse movements and performance and for assisting in data summarization. The Core has developed standard operating procedures for all behavioral testing that is approved by the University’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

The behavioral testing apparatuses are located in eight individual sound-proof testing suites, including:

Sensory & Motor Tests

  • Eight Open Field test units for general locomotor activity
  • Rotarod
  • Ugo Basile Hot/Cold plate
  • Grip strength-motor test
  • Balance beam
  • Hanging wire test
  • Visual cliff test
  • Mouse staircase test
  • Olfactory avoidance test
  • Adhesive removal test

 Learning & Memory Tests

  • Morris water maze
  • Barnes maze
  • Biosignal place avoidance test
  • Passive avoidance test
  • Six 5-choice operant conditioning systems
  • Y-maze
  • Conditioned place preference
  • Object recognition task

 Social/emotional/stress response tests

  • Elevated plus maze
  • Elevated zero maze
  • Marble burying test
  • Sociability 3-chamber test
  • Eight Light/dark test chambers
  • Four Fear conditioning chambers
  • Eight Startle response test chambers
  • Nesting condition test
  • Four Porsolt swim test tanks
  • Automated tail suspension test
  • Sucrose preference test
  • Resident-intruder test
  • Female urine test
  • Irritability test
  • Eight Hole board test units

 Circadian Activity

  • Eight ANY-maze cage systems for 24/7 behavioral monitoring

The Preclinical Studies Core collaborates closely with the Translational Imaging Facility, combining an array of TBI models with various advanced neuroimaging techniques. The Core also recently joined two new initiatives: the Translational Therapeutics Core and the Optimizing Ferret TBI Experiment. The Core will work diligently to develop new models that assess common TBI symptoms in humans for a more successful transition of interventions from animal models to humans. It will conduct long-term (6-12 months) behavioral assessments that measure social behavior, headache, sleep, depression, anxiety, impulsivity, cognition, and activity.