Oxidative stress is a key player in many ophthalmic diseases. However, the role of oxidative stress in most degenerative processes is not yet known. Therefore, accurate and practical models are required to efficiently screen for therapeutics. Porcine eyes are closely related to the human eye, and can be obtained from the abattoir as a by-product of the food industry. Therefore, they offer excellent opportunities for the development of culture models with which to pre-screen potential therapies, while reducing the use of laboratory animals. To induce oxidative stress, organotypic cultures of porcine retina were treated with different doses of hydrogen peroxide (H₂O₂; 100, 300 and 500μM) for three hours. On days 3 and 8, the retinas were conserved for histological and Western blotting analyses and for evaluation of gene expression, which determined the number of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), the activation state of glial cells, and the expression levels of several oxidative stress markers. H₂O₂ treatment led to a reduction in the number of RGCs and to an increase in apoptotic RGCs. In addition, a dose-dependent increase of microglia and an elevation of CD11b expression was observed. On day 3, a reduction of IL-1β, and an increase of iNOS, as well as of HSP70 mRNA were found. On day 8, an increase in TNF-α and IL-1β mRNA expression was detected. In conclusion, this <i>ex vivo</i> model offers an opportunity to study the molecular mechanisms underlying certain eye disorders and to test new therapeutic approaches to diminish the effects of oxidative stress.
Justin Namuk Kim, Eun Hee Choi and Soo-Ki Kim
To promote awareness of animal experimentation ethics among teenagers, we created an educational pamphlet and an accompanying questionnaire. One hundred Indian teenage school pupils were given the pamphlet and subsequently surveyed with the questionnaire, to evaluate: a) their perception of animal experimentation ethics; and b) their opinion on the effectiveness of the pamphlet, according to gender and school grade/age. There was a significant correlation between grade/age and support for animal experimentation, i.e. senior students were more inclined to show support for animal experimentation. There was also a significant correlation between gender and perception of the need to learn about animal experimentation ethics, with girls more likely to feel the need to learn about ethics than boys. In addition, the four questions relating to the usefulness of the pamphlet, and student satisfaction with its content, received positive responses from the majority of the students. Even though the pamphlet was concise, it was apparent that three quarters of the students were satisfied with its content. Gender and age did not influence this level of satisfaction. Overall, our study shows that there is a significant correlation between a pupil’s school grade/age and their support for animal experimentation, and that there is also a significant correlation between gender and the perceived need to learn about animal experimentation ethics. This pilot scheme involving an educational pamphlet and questionnaire could be beneficial in helping to formulate basic strategies for educating teenage school pupils about animal ethics.
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The Alliance is an exciting new collaboration, founded to address an urgent need to drive research and development, policymaking, awareness, outreach, and education into human-based methods of safety testing and biomedical research