The Mouse Cardiovascular Models Core Facility within the UNC McAllister Heart Institute was established in spring of 2003. It was designed as a central animal physiology and experimental surgical laboratory to serve a variety of investigators encompassing various fields of medicine and biology, particularly those with an interest in cardiovascular disease. With the advent of genetic engineering, mice have become the preferred model for assigning physiologic function to specific genes. However, due to their small size, rapid heart rate, and the naturally occurring variation in cardiovascular traits among inbred strains, mice present unique challenges to their use in studies of cardiovascular physiology and in models of cardiovascular disease. These difficulties combined with the lack of technical resources, surgical skills, and knowledge of mouse physiology restricts most individual investigators from performing cardiovascular assessment in mice. In addition, it is well known that targeted or random mutations often have subtle and unpredictable impact on tissue anatomy and cellular physiology. Thus, to appreciate fully the function of particular genes, thorough physiologic phenotyping is often necessary. We have now expanded our role to offer services to those investigators whose interests lie outside of cardiovascular research by performing procedures such as intravital microscopy, and B-mode and 3-D ultrasound of tumors.
Our mission is to provide the technology, surgical skills, and knowledge necessary for developing and applying preclinical mouse models. These models may prove to be of value in the study of human cardiovascular and other diseases, such as diabetes, and pivotal in the process of translational research. In addition, with these tools the Core will facilitate high-throughput phenotypic assessments of cardiovascular function in normal and genetically-altered mice and will work with all interested investigators to develop new models of cardiovascular disease and/or modify existing protocols. We also offer ultrasound imaging of tumors to those doing cancer research.
To serve the UNC Chapel Hill research community as one of the nation’s high quality cardiovascular experimental Core labs, while maintaining rigorously guidelines from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).
PRIMARY PROTOCOLS OFFERED
|Procedure||Description||Cost (per mouse)|
||Ligation of the left anterior descending artery of the heart with reperfusion post ischemia||$90|
|Renal Artery Stenosis ± Laser Doppler||Surgical narrowing of the renal artery-relevant model of systemic hypertension||$90|
|Femoral Artery Injury||Removal of endothelium to study arterial neointimal formation after rheostasis||$60|
|Hind Limb Ischemia ± Laser Doppler||Ligation of arteries in the hind limb to induce angiogenesis||$60|
||Ligation of the left anterior descending artery of the heart as a model of myocardial infarction
||Surgical narrowing of the aortic arch to induce left ventricular pressure-volume overload||$60|
|Direct measurement of cardiac left ventricle blood pressure and stroke volume (Scisense)
|Invasive Blood Pressure Measurement||Direct measurement of intra-arterial pressures via inserted Scisense catheter||$15|