Laboratory animals are used as research models for human diseases. Many strains have been developed and maintained and this number will continue to increase every year. The importance of the genetic background in experimental procedures is well established and well documented and takes a central place in all research using laboratory animals.. It may be argued that the genetic status of laboratory animals is as important as health status to the outcome of experimental procedures.
Harlan BV has established genetic monitoring programmes to facilitate the genetic characterisation of your strains. This will allow you to determine the genetic identity and degree of inbreeding of your strain relative to known strains, or to detect potential genetic contaminations in your colony. Using microsatellite polymorphism between strains Harlan BV is able to perform the profiling of your strains and answer questions regarding genetic identity of these strains before they are used in experiments.
Harlan BV has developed two programmes:
A defined and validated panel of 20 microsatellite markers allows rapid characterisation of your strain. The panel is sufficient to discriminate between all strains of inbred mice, and will differentiate between closely related strains such as C57BL/6 and C57BL/10.
The Quick Scan procedure can also be used as a first approach in the case of a suspected genetic contamination.
Specific microsatellites or SNPs can be added to the process on request.
Defined and validated panels of 100 microsatellites, separated by 15 cM along the genome, are used in the Genome Scan. The panels are sufficient to establish the degree of inbreeding of the strains. The Genome Scan is not only useful in determining when a backcrossing procedure has reached completion ,but also can be used to localise the locus involved in a phenotype.
The panel can also identify genetic contamination events, even if they occurred some time previously. In this way, the method provides assurance of the inbred status of the inbred strains used in the experiment, and that experimental observations are due only to the specific mutation. Specific microsatellites or SNPs can be added to the process on request.
For both programmes, the procedure can utilise DNA extracted for tail-snips or ear slices). A full report together with analysis will be provided at the end of the procedure.
In addition, commonly used mutations can be detected, eg: Prkdcscid, Lepob. In the case of specific mutations, procedures can be established to detect them, either through transfer of the protocol to Harlan BV or, in collaboration with you, designing and establishing the protocol at Harlan BV. Harlan BV can also maintain animals on your behalf in Harlan BV facilities in flexible film isolators or IVCs.