ATLA 37.2, April 2009

//ATLA 37.2, April 2009

News & Views

ATLA Staff Writer

Release of Animal Test Data
First of Two Deadlines Reached to Implement EU Cosmetics Directive Requirements
Aiming to Reduce the Number of Genetically-modified Mice Used in Experiments
The Dieter Lütticken Award 2008 Recognises the Development of a New Vaccine Quality Control Assay
Ursula M. Händel Animal Welfare Prize 2009
New Animal-free Cell Culture Supplement Launched
More Pain Studies Needed
Planning for the Future

You need to register (for free) to download this article. Please log in/register here.
2017-01-09T06:37:43+00:00 Tags: |

IIVS News & Views

ATLA Staff Writer

2009 — The Breakthrough Year for In Vitro Models?
Adherence to GLP — an Investment Now for Future Benefits
Training Workshop: Practical Methods for In Vitro Toxicology
North American Alternatives Award
Status of Regulatory Acceptance
You need to register (for free) to download this article. Please log in/register here.
2017-01-09T06:37:43+00:00 Tags: |

Advancing Refinement Through Training: Is There a Role for Reflective Practice?

Maggie Lloyd

In the fifty years since the publication of Russell and Burch’s The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique, considerable progress has been made implementing the Three Rs in scientific research which involves the use of animals. However, there are still many areas where refinements are slow to be introduced, which may be due in part to a lack of knowledge by the experimenter. Information retrieval is increasingly difficult in the modern age, and there is information overload. This is combined with a fear of confounding the science by changing methods, as well as a natural instinct to defend one’s methods from criticism by others. To overcome this, it is necessary for scientists to receive training in best practice throughout their careers, not just at the beginning, and to be encouraged to be actively self-critical, by evaluating their own techniques and methods and seeking to introduce refinements. Reflective practice is increasingly used in professional training programmes, and could encourage scientists to take the first step toward implementing refinements.
You need to register (for free) to download this article. Please log in/register here.

The Use and Refinement of Rodent Models in Anti-cancer Drug Discovery: A Review

Jon O. Curwen and Stephen R. Wedge

This review describes the changing use of tumour models in rodents (predominantly mice) as employed over the last four decades in anti-cancer drug discovery, and the refinements in the experimental methods used. Such models are required to examine the complexities of cancer biology (e.g. tumour angiogenesis, invasion and metastasis, host immunity factors) and the impact of potential therapies (e.g. drug pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and therapeutic index), and they have produced efficacious human therapeutics. Animal welfare considerations have driven refinements to animal models of cancer over time, with the most dramatic refinements being facilitated by the move away from inherently cytotoxic therapeutic approaches toward targeted inhibitors of disease-related processes. Whereas, four decades ago, the impact of disease burden was used as an endpoint in the absence of defined mechanistic parameters, acute pharmacodynamic measures are now increasingly used to minimise the adverse effects of disease and experimental procedures in a given animal. The changes in the UK guidelines on the use of rodents in preclinical cancer testing are also used as an illustration of the progressive refinement in tumour models and drug testing.
You need to register (for free) to download this article. Please log in/register here.

Welfare Phenotyping of Genetically-modified Mice

Margaret Rose

Technologies that enable the targeted manipulation of the genome have created new opportunities to study the role and interplay of specific genes in both the regulation and function of physiological and behavioural processes and in the development of pathological conditions. Despite the potential benefits, there are ethical issues in relation to the application of these technologies, some of which relate to the impact on the welfare of the animals involved. Matters of concern include the methods involved in the derivation and production of genetically-modified (GM) animals and resulting phenotypes, where animal welfare is compromised. In the case of the latter, this may be the predicted consequence of the genetic modification, but the occurrence of unforeseen animal welfare complications is a major challenge in the management of GM animals. There has been a rapid escalation in the development of new GM lines, most of them involving mice. Databases of available lines have been developed by national and international consortia, and researchers have developed standard protocols to describe the phenotype of a new line; increasingly, such data are entered into these databases. The inclusion of animal welfare assessments with these data would provide a powerful and sophisticated tool to promote refinement. The scope, level and frequency of monitoring would facilitate the identification of unpredicted effects and the management of humane endpoints, and would identify opportunities to manage the animals so as to ameliorate negative impacts. Furthermore, by highlighting the subtleties of gene–environment interactions, such data have wider implications in achieving the goals of refinement.
You need to register (for free) to download this article. Please log in/register here.

Reflections on Improved Health Status of Rodents Bred for Research: Contributions to the Reduction and Refinement of Animal Use

Marilyn J. Brown and William J. White

Reductions and refinements in the use of animals have steadily occurred over the last century. The need for improved health status has been a catalyst for much of this effort. This has also driven improvements in the housing and husbandry techniques required to maintain the health status of animals produced or used for biomedical research. This has decreased the number of animals used in biomedical research studies, contributed to refinements in animal care and use, and has resulted in better science as well as better animal welfare.
You need to register (for free) to download this article. Please log in/register here.

Computer Simulation Models are Implementable as Replacements for Animal Experiments

Dinesh K. Badyal, Vikas Modgill and Jasleen Kaur

It has become increasingly difficult to perform animal experiments, because of issues related to the procurement of animals, and strict regulations and ethical issues related to their use. As a result, it is felt that the teaching of pharmacology should be more clinically oriented and that unnecessary animal experimentation should be avoided. Although a number of computer simulation models (CSMs) are available, they are not being widely used. Interactive demonstrations were conducted to encourage the departmental faculty to use CSMs. Four different animal experiments were selected, that dealt with actions of autonomic drugs. The students observed demonstrations of animal experiments involving conventional methods and the use of CSMs. This was followed by hands-on experience of the same experiment, but using CSMs in small groups, instead of hands-on experience with the animal procedures. Test scores and feedback showed that there was better understanding of the mechanisms of action of the drugs, gained in a shorter time. The majority of the students found the teaching programme used to be good to excellent. CSMs can be used repeatedly and independently by students, and this avoids unnecessary experimentation and also causing pain and trauma to animals. The CSM programme can be implemented in existing teaching schedules for pharmacology undergraduate teaching with basic infrastructure support, and is readily adaptable for use by other institutes.
You need to register (for free) to download this article. Please log in/register here.

Implementation of the Three Rs in Biomedical Research — Has the Turn of the Century Turned the Tide?

Shoko Obora and Tsutomu Kurosawa

There has been increasing pressure from the public against animal experimentation for testing and research purposes. The Three Rs (replacement, reduction, and refinement) principle is thought to be a key foundation concept in optimising the welfare of animals used in experiments. This retrospective study attempts to investigate the transition of the Three Rs in biomedical research through a review of articles published in Nature Medicine. We categorised all of the articles published in Nature Medicine from 1998 to 2003, on the basis of the pain and distress of the animals used in the experiments featured in the analysed article. We found there were no large fluctuations in the distribution of these categories over this time period. We also examined each article for the presence of a statement relating to the humane use of laboratory animals, and found that the number of articles which included such a statement dramatically increased in 2002. Over the years studied, there was a decreasing trend in the total number of animal types used for the experiments in the articles. Our results suggest that: a) more encouragement by journal editors might improve the attitude of scientists in terms of animal welfare; and b) the progress of replacement appears to be a more long-term effort in the field of biomedical research.
You need to register (for free) to download this article. Please log in/register here.