ATLA 40.2, May 2012

//ATLA 40.2, May 2012

Volume 40 issue 2

News & Views

ATLA Staff Writer

NC3Rs Awards
New Three Rs Projects Funded
Improving Housing Conditions for Laboratory Mice
Flaws in Laboratory-controlled Circadian Rhythms
In Vitro Model of Bladder Infection
Blood–Retinal Barrier Model
Advances in 3-D Tumour Model Systems
Human In Vitro Angiogenesis Model
Dilated Cardiomyopathy Studied In Vitro
Model of Bacterial Intestinal Infection
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CAAT News & Views

ATLA Staff Writer

ALTEX Issue 2/12 and the Proceedings of the 8th World Congress Are Available Online
Human Toxome Project: A New European Horizon for Risk Assessment
Congressional Briefing on EU and US Animal Welfare Law in Research and Safety Assessment: Similarities, Differences and Harmonization
Kick-off meeting of the Evidence-Based Toxicology Collaboration (EBTC) Europe
2012 ALTEX Award
Recent CAAT/CAAT–EU Publications
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The Perception of Students on the Use of Animals in Higher Education at the Federal University of Paraná, Southern Brazil

Bernardo G.F. Deguchi, Carla F.M. Molento and Carlos E.P. de Souza

The use of animals in education and research is a controversial issue that involves ethical considerations. In Brazil, Act 11,794, which was approved in 2008, established the National Council on the Control of Animal Experimentation (CONCEA) and a database of institutions that use animals for research and education (CIUCA). This legislation also set out the regulations for the use of animals. In this study, we have evaluated the ethical issues involved in the use of animals for educational purposes at the Federal University of Paraná, through a qualitative–quantitative analysis that relied on written questionnaires. Our objective was to find out the opinions of students and staff from different academic fields, and at different stages in their professional development, on the use of animals for educational purposes. The study involved 101 students and 20 lecturers (i.e. tenure-track professors and all those who teach the students) in Biology, Pharmacology, Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. Approximately half of the students (45.5%) did not know the legislation that regulates the use of animals in education, and most of the lecturers believed that learning goals could not be achieved with alternative methods. Only 38.9% of the lecturers and 31.9% of the students trusted the usefulness of alternative methods. Furthermore, recent graduates were as unaware of the legislation, as were students in the first two years of their university courses. These results suggest that it is necessary to considerably expand the discussion on alternatives to animal use in the academic environment.

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The Comparability of In Vitro and Ex Vivo Studies on the Percutaneous Permeation of Topical Formulations Containing Ibuprofen

Jessica Stahl, Bettina Blume, Silvia Bienas1 and Manfred Kietzmann

In order to avoid in vivo experiments and to gain information about the suitability of surrogates for skin replacement, Franz-type diffusion cell experiments were conducted by using three ibuprofen containing formulations (cream, gel and microgel) on bovine split-skin samples and cellophane membranes. Moreover, ex vivo examinations were performed on the isolated perfused bovine udder, to study the comparability of in vitro and ex vivo experimental set-ups. Depending on the formulation, noticeable differences in the permeation of Ibuprofen occurred in vitro (udder skin) and ex vivo (isolated perfused bovine udder), but not in the cellophane membrane. The rates of ibuprofen permeability (cream > gel > microgel) and adsorption into the skin (gel > microgel > cream) varied with the formulation, and were probably caused by differences in the ingredients. Furthermore, different storage conditions and seasonal variation in the collection of the skin samples probably led to differences in the amounts of ibuprofen adsorption apparent in the isolated bovine udder and udder skin. In vitro diffusion experiments should be preferred to experiments on isolated organs with regard to the costs involved, the throughput, and the intensity of labour required, unless metabolism of the drug in the skin, or cell–cell interactions are of particular interest.
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Refinement of the Charcoal Meal Study by Reduction of the Fasting Period

Helen Prior, Lorna Ewart, Jonathan Bright and Jean-Pierre Valentin

The aim of this investigation was to determine whether a shorter fasting period than the one historically employed for the charcoal meal test, could be used when measuring gastric emptying and intestinal transit within the same animal, and to ascertain whether the scientific outcome would be affected by this benefit to animal welfare. Rats and mice were fasted for 0, 3, 6 or 18 hours before the oral administration of vehicle or atropine. One hour later, the animals were orally administered a charcoal meal, then 20 minutes later, they were killed and the stomach and small intestine were removed. Intestinal transit time (the position of the charcoal front as a percentage of the total length of the small intestine) and relative gastric emptying (weight of stomach contents) were measured. Rats and mice fasted for six hours showed results for gastric emptying and intestinal transit which were similar to those obtained in animals fasted for 18 hours. Reducing the fasting period reduced the body weight loss in both species, and mice on shorter fasts could be group-housed, as hunger-induced fighting was lessened. Therefore, a fasting period of six hours was subsequently adopted for charcoal meal studies at our institution.
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Comments on UK Options for Transposition of European Directive 2010/63/EU

Michael Balls and Michelle Hudson

The British Government’s proposals for the transposition of European Directive 2010/63/EU are discussed under five main headings: direct transposition without major effects on the UK legislation, introduction of stricter requirements in the Directive, retention of stricter controls in the Animals [Scientific Procedures] Act 1986, questions requiring further consideration, and matters of concern. The Home Office had published a consultation on the options in 2011, which resulted in 98 responses from organisations and 13,458 responses from individuals. Our main concerns relate to the use of non-human primates, the annual publication of the UK statistics on laboratory animal use, and the provision of greater transparency on how animals are used, and why. Finally, we conclude that the new Directive and its transposition into the national laws of the Member states provide a renewed opportunity for genuine commitment to the Three Rs, leading to progressive and significant Reduction, Refinement and Replacement.
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