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25 April 2024, Volume 44 Issue 2
Animal Models of Human Diseases
Application of Allograft Endometriosis Rat Model in Pharmaco-dynamic Evaluation of GnRH Agonists
Ruihua ZHONG, Guoting LI, Wenjie YANG, Xiangjie GUO, Jieyun ZHOU, Yingyi HU, Qicheng NI, Ye YANG, Min ZHANG, Yan ZHU
2024, 44(2):  127-138.  DOI: 10.12300/j.issn.1674-5817.2023.150
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Objective To establish an allogeneic rat model of endometriosis and to evaluate the effects of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist GenSci006 on experimental rat endometriosis. Methods Endometrium from SPF grade donor female SD rats were transplanted onto the abdominal wall of recipient female rats to construct an allogeneic endometriosis model. The rats undergoing sham surgery were divided into the sham group. Three weeks later, the length, width and height of the ectopic endometrium were measured, and the volume of the endometrium (V1) was calculated before drug administration. The modeling rats were randomly divided into four groups: model group, triptorelin group (0.25 mg/kg), GenSci006-1 group (0.125 mg/kg) and GenSci006-2 group (0.25 mg/kg). Each group had 16 rats and received a single dose of the corresponding drug. The sham group and model group were administered an equal volume of solvent. Three weeks after administration, ectopic endometrium was measured to calculate the volume V2 and inhibition rate. The effect of GenSci006 on rat uterus and ovarian tissues was assessed by comparing organ coefficients and changes in pathological sections. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to measure the levels of serum estradiol (E2), progesterone (P4), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH). Real-time fluorescent quantitative PCR was used to detect the expression of GnRH receptor (GnRHR) mRNA in the hypothalamus and pituitary. Western blot was used to detect the expression of estradiol receptor alpha (ERα), beta (ERβ) and progesterone receptor (PR) in ectopic endometrium. Results Three weeks after administration, compared with the model group, the body weight of rats in the triptorelin and GenSci006-2 groups significantly increased (P < 0.05), while the volume of ectopic endometrium significantly decreased (P < 0.05). Compared with the sham group, the model group showed no significant changes in uterine and ovarian organ coefficients or endometrial thickness (P > 0.05). Compared with the model group, the uterine organ coefficients and endometrial thickness were significantly reduced in the triptorelin and GenSci006-2 groups (P < 0.05). Compared with the sham group, the serum levels of E2, P4, FSH and LH in the model group showed no significant changes (P > 0.05). Compared with the model group, the ovarian organ coefficient and serum P4 levels of rats in the Triptorelin, GenSci006-1, and GenSci006-2 groups were significantly reduced (P < 0.05), while the serum LH levels of rats in the GenSci006-1 group were significantly increased (P < 0.05). However, there were no significant changes in serum E2 and FSH levels in each group (P > 0.05). Compared with the model group, the expression levels of GnRHR mRNA in the pituitary tissue of rats in the triptorelin and GenSci006-2 groups were significantly downregulated (P < 0.05), with no significantly changes in the hypothalamus (P > 0.05). There were no significant changes in the expression level of GnRHR mRNA in the hypothalamus or the protein levels of ERα, ERβ and PR in the ectopic endometrial tissue in any group (P > 0.05). Conclusion The allogeneic endometriosis rat model is a suitable animal model for screening and evaluating drugs for treating endometriosis. The volume of ectopic endometrium, inhibition rate, uterine and ovarian organ coefficients, and serum E2 levels may serve as indicators for detecting drug efficacy.

Ginkgolide B Promotes Neural Function Recovery of Ischemic Stroke Mice by Regulating Characteristics of Brain T Cells and Their Interactions with Glial Cells
Jia LIU, Yanrong YE, Yun SHEN, Qiying TANG, Meiqing CHEN, Kehui YI, Shaozhuang CHEN
2024, 44(2):  139-148.  DOI: 10.12300/j.issn.1674-5817.2023.121
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Objective To investigate the regulatory effects of Ginkgolide B on the biological characteristics of brain T cells and their interactions with glial cells during the recovery phase of ischemic stroke in mice. Methods 36 adult C57BL/6 mice were randomly assigned to three groups: sham-operated group (Sham group), control group (PBS group), and Ginkgolide B treatment group (GB group). The Sham group underwent only sham surgeries, whereas the PBS and GB groups were subjected to a middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model using the filament method, followed by intranasal administration of an equivalent volume of either PBS or Ginkgolide B solution for 14 days post-injury. Neurological function changes were evaluated in all three groups using the rotarod test and a neurological scoring system. On day 15, single-cell sequencing was performed on fresh tissues from the brain injury areas, surrounding cortex, corpus callosum, and striatum of mice in the PBS and GB group to assess the biological characteristics of T cells and their subpopulations, and further explore the interactions and mechanisms among T cells, microglia, and oligodendrocytes. Results Compared with the Sham group, both PBS and GB group exhibited significant improvements in neurological scores and reduced pre-fall motor durations (P < 0.001). Compared with the PBS group, the GB group showed a downward trend in neurological scores and an upward trend in pre-fall motor durations on days 5, 10, and 15 post-ischemic brain injury, with a significant increase in pre-fall motor duration on day 15 (P < 0.05). Compared with the PBS group, the GB group exhibited a significant increase in T cell proliferative activity in the brain 15 days post brain injury (P < 0.05). The number of proliferative T cells and the levels of lipid metabolism were significantly elevated (P < 0.05), and there was a significant increase in extracellular matrix remodeling in all T cells (P < 0.05). Additionally, the interactions between T cells and both microglia and oligodendrocytes, as well as among the microglia themselves and between microglia and oligodendrocytes, were significantly enhanced in the GB group. This was primarily evident in the strengthened interactions between CD74 and macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), as well as colony stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R) and colony stimulating factor 1 (CSF1) (P < 0.05). However, the inflammatory levels of T cells showed no significant differences compared with the PBS group. Conclusion A mouse model of ischemic stroke can be successfully established by MCAO operation. Ginkgolide B may promote neurological recovery post-brain injury in mice by modulating the biological characteristics of T cells within the brain and their interactions with glial cells.

Effects of Puerarin on Bone Density in Rats and Mice: A Meta-analysis
Jinhua HU, Jingjie HAN, Min JIN, Bin HU, Yuefen LOU
2024, 44(2):  149-161.  DOI: 10.12300/j.issn.1674-5817.2023.127
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Objective To evaluate the effects of puerarin on bone density in rats and mice through a meta-analysis. Methods The databases, including CNKI, SinoMed, Wanfang data, VIP, PubMed, EMBase, Web of Science, the Cochrane Library, and Scopus from their inception to November 6, 2023, were searched for literature on the effects of puerarin treatment on bone density in rats and mice. Inclusion criteria for the literature were randomized controlled trials with a placebo or blank control group; the subject animals were rats or mice; the intervention was puerarin; and the results included bone density measurements. Exclusion criteria included combination therapy with puerarin; lack of original research data; unpublished studies; and using mandible as the measurement site for bone density. Risks of bias were assessed using SYRCLE's RoB tool. Data analysis was conducted with Stata 16.0 and Rev Man 5.3 software. Results After applying the inclusion and exclusion criteria, a total of 429 records were identified and 42 articles covering 41 studies were ultimately included. 925 animals were involved and the data analysis results indicated that puerarin improved bone density in rats and mice compared to the control group: femur [37 studies, n=824, standardized mean difference (SMD)=2.12, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.69-2.54, P < 0.000 1], lumbar spine (13 studies, n=271, SMD=2.25, 95% CI=1.49-3.01, P < 0.000 1), tibia (4 studies, n=95, SMD=0.94, 95% CI=0.05-1.83, P=0.04), and the whole body (4 studies, n=94, SMD=1.89, 95% CI=0.50-3.29, P=0.008), with all inter-group differences in bone density being statistically significant. Conclusion Puerarin can improve bone density in rats and mice. This study provides a valuable reference for clinical studies on the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis with puerarin.

Advantages of Ciona intestinalis as a Model Organism and Its Applications
Ruiqi LI, Han DUAN, Luo GAN, Yuan ZHENG, Wen YANG
2024, 44(2):  162-179.  DOI: 10.12300/j.issn.1674-5817.2023.159
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With the continuous development of experimental biology, the limitations of commonly utilized model organisms are becoming increasingly apparent. Discrepancies between research conducted on laboratory animals and humans significantly impede the translational application of findings derived from animal experiments. This review introduces ascidian Ciona intestinalis as a novel model organism, an invertebrate that is evolutionarily closest to vertebrates and is a sister group to vertebrates. The review summarizes recent research progress on Ciona intestinalis in various fields to illustrate the significant advantages and promising application prospects of it as a model organism. The research progress outlined in the review mainly encompasses: (1) The whole-genome sequencing of Ciona intestinalis has been determined and numerous related databases have been established. Various embryonic gene editing technologies have been successfully applied, making it an animal model easy to manipulate genetically and study the functions and interactions of target genes visually. (2) In the field of neurobiology, Ciona intestinalis boasts a central nervous system structure similar to that of vertebrates and possesses numerous homologous neuropeptides and hormone molecules. These features grant it an edge in exploring the mechanisms and functional evolution of endocrine and neuroendocrine-related molecules. Additionally, the sensitivity and habituation of its larvae to light stimulation provide an avenue for exploring mechanisms related to behavioral plasticity. (3) In the field of immunology, Ciona intestinalis possesses a mature innate immune system and has evolved precursor genes to the adaptive immune system, with a relatively simple coding of immune-related genes. These features make it an exemplary model organism for immunological studies. (4) In the field of developmental biology, many studies have focused on the notochord development process in Ciona intestinalis and the regulatory mechanisms of gene expression within it, indicating common evolutionary developmental strategies among chordates. Additionally, insights into its heart development also significantly enhance our comprehension on the genetic network of human heart development. (5) In medical research, the ability of Ciona intestinalis to regenerate its neural complex and siphon, as well as the resilience of its heart to recover contractile function from substantial damage, renders it a valuable animal model for the study of regeneration and heart injury. It also has unique advantages as a research model for Alzheimer's disease and new drug development. Furthermore, its brief five-month lifespan facilitates the observation and recording of the entire aging process and the exploration of the effects of various factors on aging. In summary, this review aims to demonstrate that Ciona intestinalis stands out as a model organism with unique attributes and is expected to play a significant role in a wider range of scientific research areas.

Advances in Research on Pathological and Molecular Mechanism of Hyperuricemic Nephropathy Based on Animal Models
Fangqi BAO, Haiye TU, Mingsun FANG, Qian ZHANG, Minli CHEN
2024, 44(2):  180-191.  DOI: 10.12300/j.issn.1674-5817.2023.123
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Uric acid (UA), the final product of human purine metabolism, can cause hyperuricemia (HUA) when excessively accumulated. HUA is closely linked to chronic kidney diseases (CKD) and is considered an independent risk factor. Hyperuricemic nephropathy, a form of CKD induced by HUA, has seen significant advances in understanding through research into the pathogenic roles of uric acid and the development of HUA animal models. Although progress has been made in understanding the pathophysiological mechanisms by which UA induces CKD, much remains to be learned about its pathological molecular mechanisms. New approaches in animal modeling or the selection of model animals may potentially lead to significant breakthroughs in research on hyperuricemia as well as related CKD. This paper reviews the research progress on the molecular mechanisms of hyperuricemic nephropathy, focusing on oxidative stress, inflammation, autophagy, fibrosis, and gut microbiota. Oxidative stress is induced by uric acid intracellularly through xanthine oxidase, NADPH oxidases, and mitochondria, leading to cellular damage. In terms of inflammation, uric acid crystals can activate the NLRP3 inflammasome, triggering an inflammatory cascade. The role of free uric acid as a pro-inflammatory agent, however, remains controversial. Depending on the study conducted, autophagy has been found to either alleviate or exacerbate inflammation induced by uric acid. Fibrosis, particularly through epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), is a major mechanism by which uric acid causes glomerulosclerosis and tubulointerstitial fibrosis. Extensive research has explored various signaling pathways involved in uric acid-induced EMT. Beneficial gut microbiota protect the kidneys by synthesizing short-chain fatty acids, reducing urea’s enterohepatic circulation, and decreasing uric acid production. This paper aims to enhance understanding of the complex relationships between HUA and CKD, serving as a reference for further research and new drug development.

Advances in Comparative Medical Research on Anatomy and Histological Structure of Intervertebral Discs in Humans and Other Animals
Li ZHANG, Yu KUANG, Lingxia HAN
2024, 44(2):  192-201.  DOI: 10.12300/j.issn.1674-5817.2023.141
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The 2023 China Health Report on Spine Degeneration noted a significant increase in lumbar surgery among patients under 35 years old in recent years, indicating a trend towards younger onset of cervical and lumbar diseases. Lumbar intervertebral disc herniation has become a major concern, making the study of disc degeneration pathogenesis and treatment methods clinically significant. At present, human intervertebral disc diseases are primarily diagnosed through imaging due to the challenges of obtaining tissue samples from the spine. Therefore, experimental animals have emerged as alternative research subjects because they are cost-effective, have short experimental cycles, and are easily accessible. Given the structural and physiological differences between human and other animal intervertebral discs, comparing their anatomy and histological characteristics forms the foundation of research into human disc degeneration. The purpose of this paper is to collect and review relevant studies on anatomical and histological structures of intervertebral discs in different animals and conduct a comparative analysis from four aspects, namely, intervertebral disc height, lumbar disc geometry, lumbar disc cartilaginous endplate characteristics, and extracellular matrix components. The results show that humans, kangaroos, sheep, pigs, and rats exhibit similar relative heights between the sixth and seventh cervical vertebrae. Mice possess lumbar disc geometries most akin to humans. Compared to other animals, humans have the thickest cartilaginous endplates and the lowest cell densities. The collagen within the fibrous annulus differs most notably in pigs compared to humans, while water content in the nucleus pulposus is consistent across pigs, sheep, rabbits, rats, and humans. Additionally, this paper describes the commonalities and discrepancies in disc degeneration manifestations between humans and animals, and summarizes modeling methods for disc degeneration in different experimental animals. Ultimately, the aims of this paper is to provide fundamental data for selecting suitable experimental animal models for the study of intervertebral disc degeneration.

Facilities and Management for Laboratory Animals
Investigation on Current Biosafety Management Status in Laboratory Animal Institutions in Hunan Province
Meitong LIU, Zhang CHEN, Zhaoqiang ZHANG, Di FAN, Zhan HU, Hailing MA
2024, 44(2):  202-208.  DOI: 10.12300/j.issn.1674-5817.2023.129
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Objective This study aimed to investigate the current status of biosafety management in laboratory animal institutions in Hunan Province, identify management shortcomings, and provide targeted recommendations for improvement. Methods A questionnaire survey was conducted in July 2023 among 40 laboratory animal institutions in Hunan Province, covering topics such as the establishment of laboratory management system and its overall operation status, emergency management for incidents, medical waste disposal, animal transportation, personnel practitioner management, environmental disinfection, and equipment maintenance. The awareness of biosafety, animal bite incidents, and vaccination history was surveyed from at least one animal feeder or experimental operation practitioner from each institution, totaling 50 practitioners. Through literature review and comparative analysis, this paper analyzed the current status of biosafety management in production, transportation, and use of laboratory animals in Hunan Province from aspects such as biosafety management systems, personnel training, disinfection of environmental facilities and waste disposal, and provided recommendations. Results Among the 40 laboratory animal institutions in Hunan Province,39 institutions (97.5%) had established laboratory management systems, 37 (92.5%) had emergency response plans for incidents of to transport laboratory animals, 15 (37.5%) had complete records of emergency drills for laboratory animal biosafety, and 39 (97.5%) had established protocols for carcass and waste management. Moreover, 26 institutions (65.0%) had laboratory biosafety risk assessment reports. 4 out of 8 (50.0%) production units had emergency plans for animal transportation, with 7 (87.5%) using special vehicles to transport laboratory animals. 2 (4.0%) of the 50 practitioners were unaware of emergency response plans, 6 participants (12.0%) did not consistently wear personal protective equipment, and 38 participants (76.0%) had been bitten or scratched by laboratory animals. The results of the survey showed that emergency management, transportation management and personnel management of laboratory animal incidents still need improvement in Hunan Province. Relevant functional departments should strengthen supervision and management efforts, establish local regulations for the transportation management of laboratory animals, ensure strict compliance with relevant documents, conduct emergency drills in all units, and strengthen training for practitioners. Conclusion While daily management practices in the 40 laboratory animal institutions in Hunan Province are generally satisfactory, there remains a need for further improvement in emergency management, transportation management, personnel management, etc. Gradually enhancing the level of laboratory animal safety management is essential to collectively safeguard public health safety.

Research on Management Policies of Laboratory Animals in Sichuan Province
Bing CHEN, Yixing ZOU, Lingyun YAO, Jingdong WANG
2024, 44(2):  209-213.  DOI: 10.12300/j.issn.1674-5817.2023.110
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Improving laboratory animal management system is one of the effective ways to promote the legalization and standardization of laboratory animal management. This article systematically reviews the relevant content and requirements of the latest laws, regulations, normative documents, and standards formulated and promulgated by the state since 2019 regarding the management of experimental animals. It also analyzes the current institutional framework in managing experimental animals in Sichuan Province from four aspects: administrative management, quality assurance, biosafety, and local standards. Furthermore, this article summarizes the existing problems and proposes corresponding policy recommendations in a targeted manner, aiming to provide a reference for the formulation of robust experimental animal management policies in Sichuan Province.

Reflection on Improving the Quality Management System for Experimental Animal Waste Disposal: National Institutes for Food and Drug Control as an Example
Liying MA, Minghai ZHAO, Chunnan LIANG, Bingfei YUE, Hong WANG
2024, 44(2):  214-219.  DOI: 10.12300/j.issn.1674-5817.2023.116
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Science and technological advancements drive human progress, with laboratory animals serving as essential resources for developments in life sciences and medicine. However, the waste generated by these animals presents new challenges for urban management. Issues such as classification, recycling, effective utilization, and biohazard elimination must be addressed, necessitating the development of regulations, standards, and norms to keep pace with advancements. The construction of quality management system is the foundation and framework for the management of inspection and testing organizations. It should have strong operability and inspectability, enabling continuous improvement of the management level and enhancing the stability of basic management. However, current quality management systems often lack clarity in managing laboratory animal waste, including undefined disposal processes for non-medical institutions, inaccurate waste classification, and inadequate disposal methods for different waste categories. This paper addresses these challenges by identifying necessary processes to be added or removed in the quality management system of National Institutes for Food and Drug Control, developing effective SOPs, proposing practical measures to strengthen supervision and management, and integrating 6S management principles into our quality management system. In conclusion, effective management of laboratory animal waste should be centered on improving the quality management system, emphasizing waste classification and management at the source, controlling biological hazards, minimizing environmental pollution and promoting conditions for sustainable development.

Discussion on the Construction and Operational Experience of Intelligent Control Systems for Laboratory Animal Facilities: Shenzhen Institute for Drug Control as an Example
Long ZENG, Junpeng LI, Xiaowei WANG, Ning CHEN, Ping WANG, Meirong QIN
2024, 44(2):  220-226.  DOI: 10.12300/j.issn.1674-5817.2023.162
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Intelligent control systems can effectively assist in the construction and management of laboratory animal facilities, improving operational efficiency, ensuring the reliability of animal experimental results, and significantly saving human resources. The intelligent control system for laboratory animal facilities at Shenzhen Institute for Drug Control was completed in April 2021. It includes an intelligent management platform and an information management system for animal laboratories. The intelligent management platform regulates room environment parameters such as temperature, humidity, and pressure through building equipment management system, controlling devices such as the Venturi valve, electric air valve, electric water valve, and steam humidification valve. At the same time, various environmental parameters are monitored online through the environmental monitoring system. The laboratory’s intelligence is further enhanced by systems such as automatic lighting control, full HD video monitoring, automatic access control and door system, independent ventilation and feeding, automatic cleaning, automatic exhaust gas treatment, centralized gas supply, and real-time instrument parameter monitoring. The information management system for animal laboratories integrates inspection, instrument and equipment, personnel, documents, standard substances, reagents, inspection standards, books, records, scientific research management, relevant applications, quality management, and query statistics. For animal experimentation, a management module has been developed to achieve a comprehensive digitization of animal management. Furthermore, real-time collection and recording of data such as balance calibration, sample quality, and animal weight are facilitated through electronic experimental recording. In summary, the Animal Laboratory of Shenzhen Institute for Drug Control has extensively utilized intelligent systems to achieve real-time online control and monitoring, improve efficiency, ensure high-quality facility operation, and meet standard requirements. Smooth execution of all inspection and research activities has been achieved over the past three years. This paper provides insights into the construction, management, and operation of laboratory animal facilities at Shenzhen Institute for Drug Control, offering guidance for the implementation of intelligent control in similar facilities across China.

Discussion on Management Experience of Public Cell Culture Platform in Laboratory Animal Center of Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Lina PENG, Man ZHANG, Min AI, Wangjie XU
2024, 44(2):  227-233.  DOI: 10.12300/j.issn.1674-5817.2023.101
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Public cell culture platform is an important facility in laboratory animal facilities, providing essential support for scientific research such as the development of animal tumor disease models and transgenic animals. By establishing a public cell culture experimental platform, laboratory animal centers can effectively integrate experimental animals and cell culture resources, optimizing the allocation of scientific research resources to facilitate better research outcomes. The majority of cells cultured in these platforms are used for animal experiments. Contamination or quality issues in these cells not only affect experimental results but also jeopardize the health of experimental animals, potentially leading to microbial infections and contamination of entire animal facilities. Therefore, public cell culture laboratories within experimental animal facilities impose stricter quality control measures than conventional cell culture rooms. This study takes the public cell culture platform at the Laboratory Animal Center of Shanghai Jiao Tong University as a case study to discuss management experiences, focusing on facility maintenance and management, personnel management and quality control of cell biological risk. The aim is to provide useful reference for the management of public cell culture laboratories in experimental animal facilities and other institutions.

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