Real-time monitoring techniques and simplistic platelet assays to reduce and refine animal use in cardiovascular and respiratory biomedical research

Platelets are critical participants in haemostasis, thrombosis and inflammation. We have developed technology for assessing radiolabelled platelet aggregation responses in real-time in anaesthetised mice. Our model is a refinement of thromboembolic mortality models that operates at a lower severity level and uses considerably fewer mice. Mortality models continue to be used by a number of research groups and by initiating dialogue with users we have identified a need for more simplistic alternatives and proof of principle using current test reagents to facilitate uptake. We shall therefore evaluate systemic platelet counting as an alternative to thromboembolic mortality models using conventional antithrombotics and reagents from groups currently using mortality techniques. Our approach will refine procedures currently being used to reduce pain and suffering and will also reduce animal use by participating groups by 50%.

We shall also develop techniques for assessing platelet recruitment to the lung during allergic inflammation in real-time in anaesthetised mice. This will provide an alternative to killing of mice at numerous time points for histological determination of cell infiltration. We anticipate a reduction in mouse use of 70-80%. Antithrombotic drugs will be used to distinguish the inflammatory platelet response from thrombotic platelet activation. The model will ultimately be established in a laboratory that is active in the field of inflammatory lung disease to facilitate immediate application and subsequent dissemination to other research groups.

We therefore propose to develop low cost and easily applied models for assessing platelet activation during cardiovascular and respiratory diseases that refine and reduce procedures involving experimental mice.

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Project grant

Status:

Active

Principal investigator

Dr Michael Emerson

Institution

Imperial College London

Co-Investigator

Dr Simon Pitchford

Grant reference number

NC/M000079/1

Award date:

Nov 2014 - Mar 2017

Grant amount

£232,737