Preclinical Phenotyping

Phenotypic screening of mouse behavior, metabolism, & physiology

The preclinical phenotyping facility (pcPHENO) provides state-of-the-art equipment and services for in vivo testing of mouse behavior, metabolism, and physiology.

After training and under expert supervision, researchers can perform experiments by themselves or use our services, ranging from planning and performing experiments to final data analysis and interpretation.

SERVICES

Behavioral tests

We offer a wide range of mouse behavioral tests including the following neurological areas:

  • motoric functions
  • learning and memory processes
  • anxiety-like and depressive behavior
  • social behavior
  • repetitive behavior
  • sensory functions (olfaction, acoustic functions, vision, thermal and mechanical nociception)

To read more about the range of behavioral tests we can perform, please click here.

Metabolic measurements

We can measure the metabolic parameters of mice during the day and night under defined light-cycle, temperature, and humidity conditions, automatically measuring food intake, liquid intake, respiratory exchange rate, calorie consumption, and home cage or running wheel activity. We can offer preference tests for different diets or liquids, or feeding experiments with controlled access to food.

Cardiovascular and body temperature measurements

We can measure heart rate, as well as systolic and diastolic blood pressure in restrained mice at chosen time points using a non-invasive tail cuff method.

Alternatively, we offer the possibility of performing continuous telemetry recordings using implanted transmitters that record the electrocardiogram (ECG) and blood pressure within the aortic arch. These measurements can be recorded at chosen sample intervals or continuously as the mouse moves freely in the cage. We can also record the core body temperature using implanted telemetry transmitters.

Surgical services

We offer a wide range of surgeries on mice including:

  • implantation of telemetry transmitters, mini-osmotic pumps, or optogenetic fibers
  • application of lenses for calcium-imaging
  • microdialysis
  • creating models of traumatic brain injury
  • stereotactic injections
  • perfusions
  • blood and cerebrospinal fluid sampling

EQUIPMENT

The IntelliCage allows us to assess cognitive functions and behavior of individual mice while living in a social environment. Mice are automatically identified by the system using subcutaneously implanted RFID chips and a broad spectrum of conditioning paradigms can be run in an automated experimenter-independent manner. Read more...

The Noldus CatWalk system allows for high-throughput gait analysis under non-stressful conditions as well as detailed footprint analysis. A detailed footprint analysis with intensities of body weight distribution can give indications about the motoric functions of the mice and can detect e.g., pain-related weight shifts. In addition, the gait pattern can be analyzed from below. Read more...

 

The following parameters can be measured from up to 12 single-housed mice:

  • food consumption
  • liquid consumption
  • oxygen consumption
  • CO2 production
  • locomotion activity plus rearing activity
  • running wheel activity

The PhenoMaster cages are located inside a climate chamber allowing for user-defined light-cycle, temperature, and humidity.

The following parameters can be measured continuously using implanted telemetry transmitters:

  • core body temperature
  • locomotor activity
  • electrocardiogram
  • blood pressure

These measurements can also be made inside the PhenoMaster and thus combined with other metabolic parameters.

USER INFORMATION

Please contact sylvia.badurek(at)vbcf.ac.at for further information and to discuss your specific project needs.

Please provide us with a current health certificate from your animal facility before transferring mice to us and coordinate this transfer as well as all animal license regulations with sylvia.badurek(at)vbcf.ac.at

We require acknowledgement of facility use in publications. A simple statement is sufficient and can be placed in the Materials and Methods section or in the Acknowledgments section, depending on the journal format.

Suggested format:
The XXXXXX was performed by the Preclinical Phenotyping Facility at Vienna BioCenter Core Facilities (VBCF), member of the Vienna BioCenter (VBC), Austria.

In case of (co-)authorship:
The Vienna BioCenter Core Facilities (VBCF) Preclinical Phenotyping Facility acknowledges funding from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science & Research; and the City of Vienna.

In general, behavioral experiments require large group sizes. Thus, please consider the appropriate group sizes for experimental animals and controls. Please discuss these in detail with the pcPHENO staff.

If possible, avoid single-housing of mice and toe- or tail-clipping for motor function tests. Ear-notching is preferred.

Please note that transferring mice back from the pcPHENO facility to your animal facility may be restricted. For more information, please contact sylvia.badurek@vbcf.ac.at

PUBLICATIONS

Dorsal tegmental dopamine neuron gate associative learning of fear.

Groessl F, Munsch T, Meis S, Griessner J, Kaczanowska J, Pliota P, Kargl D, Badurek S, Kraitsy K, Rassoulpour A, Zuber J, Lessmann V, Haubensak W, Nat. Neurosci 2018 Jul;21(7):952-62

Stress peptides sensitize fear circuitry to promote passive coping.

Pliota P, Boehm V, Groessl F, Griessner J, Valenti O, Kraitsy K, Kaczanowska J, Pasieka M, Lendl T, Deussing JM, Haubensak W, Mol. Psychiatry, 2018 Jun 14

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Virtual reality for freely moving animals.
Stowers JR, Hofbauer M, Bastien R, Griessner J, Higgins P, Farooqui S, Fischer RM, Nowikovsky K, Haubensak W, Couzin ID, Tessmar-Raible K, Straw AD
Nature Methods, 2017 Oct14(10):995-1002