Directed by, Dr. Robert Sigler, Dr. Jennifer Lofgren and Dr. Kathryn Eaton, The Animal Care and Germ-Free Mouse Core plays a central role in the management of animal flow through the Center’s phenotyping cores from initial acquisition to final disposition of imported mice. The gateway for all phenotyping involving live mice, the Animal Care and Germ-Free Mouse Core provides mouse importation, quarantine, housing, veterinary care, clinical chemistry and histopathology services; as well as, host a germ-free mouse facility that interacts with the Microbiome core to produce and distribute germ-free and gnotobiotic mouse models.
Whether dealing with experimentally induced conditions or spontaneously occurring diseases, the Animal Care and Germ Free Mouse Core offers a wide-array of expertise in laboratory animal pathology, pathology preparations, and services through their In-Vivo Animal Core facility.
Services that can be utilized individually or combined as a full service based on the needs of the project include:
- Pre-clinical project consultation and study design
- Animal diagnostic laboratory testing
- In-vivo animal handling, including blood collection and test article dosing
- Necropsy, histology, and immunohistochemistry preparations
- Digital slide scanning
- Clinical and anatomic pathology evaluation and reporting
The mission of the University of Michigan Germ-Free Mouse Core is to provide germ-free and gnotobiotic mouse models for investigators within and outside the University of Michigan. Germ-free mice are raised and housed in soft-sided bubble isolators and are monitored regularly to ensure that they are free of all exogenous microbes, including bacteria, fungi, parasites, and exogenous viruses. Gnotobiotic mice, colonized with defined microbial communities and/or specific pathogens, are housed in individually ventilated isocages, designed to prevent entry of any microbial contaminant. Germ-free mice housed in properly managed isocages remain germ-free indefinitely, and gnotobiotic mice remain gnotobiotic.
The core maintains a colony of germ-free C57BL/6, Swiss-Webster, and BALB/c mice that are available for purchase. Currently, RAG-1 knockout and IL-10 knockout mice on a C57BL/6 background are also maintained, and other knockout strains may be available. In addition to breeding, housing, and selling mice, the core offers hysterectomy-based rederivation services. SPF breeders can be shipped to the core where they will be bred and offspring rederived into germ-free isolators. The new germ-free line can be shipped back to the investigator or maintained in our breeding colony.
Finally, the core provides technical services for performing experiments in house according to investigators’ protocol. In addition to microbial colonization by gavage, services include tissue and sample collection, body weight monitoring, genetic monitoring, etc. Consultation services are also available.