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Behavioral phenotyping of mouse models of neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders
Published on February 11, 2015 51 min
Other Talks in the Series: Animal Models in Biomedical Research
Legal aspects of using animals for research in the U.S.
- Dr. B. Taylor Bennet
- Management Consultant, USA
Legal and ethical aspects of using animals in research in the EU
- Dr. Judy A. MacArthur Clark
- Animals in Science Regulation Unit (ASRU), Home Office, UK
Hi. I am Jacqueline Crawley at the MIND Institute at the University of California, Davis in Sacramento in the US. And we'll be talking to you today about behavioral phenotyping of mouse models of neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders, a field that our Behavioral Neuroscience Laboratory has been working on for over 30 years.
The fundamental question that you might ask is, why would one bother using an animal model in the first place? How do animal models contribute to biomedical research? Basically, we're designing research tools that will allow us to discover the functions of known and newly discovered genes, or signaling proteins, neurotransmitters, their receptors, anatomical pathways, epigenetic mechanisms, specifically to understand the causes of a human disease. If we have a good model, it then becomes a pre-clinical tool that tests potential treatments for their efficacy and safety.
We understand completely, particularly in terms of psychiatric disorders, that we can't anthropomorphize from a mouse to a human, that we're not pretending that we work on an anxious, depressed, schizophrenic, or autistic mouse. We never use those terms in our lab. What we're doing is employing the mouse behaviors that have features that are similar to the human symptoms, or causes that are similar to those that are known to cause the human disease, or the same response to a therapeutic drug. And again, the goal is to test hypotheses about causes and to evaluate the potential usefulness of treatments of the human disorder.