In vivo assays
Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion (MCAO)- stroke model
One of our major indications where we use our newly developed molecules is the recovery after ischemic stroke. As a widely accepted stroke animal model we perform MCAO on young adult rats and follow their stroke scores (focal and general deficits) for several weeks. We either directly inject our inhibitors to the damaged brain tissue or, more recently, we introduce our inhibitors into the arterial blood flow with catheters close to the occlusion site. We also test the cognitive and emotional functions of the rats after several weeks when the motoric functions of both the treated and the control animals are recovered. During the first three weeks we determine the physiological status of the damaged brain areas using MRI, SPECT and several immunohistochemistry staining techniques.
Rat heart and respiratory functions
We follow the effect of the new inhibitors on general physiological functions (heart rate, blood flow, oxygen saturation, breath rate) of young adult rats using MouseOx collar sensor. We inject the inhibitors intraperitoneally and continuously detect the vital signs for one hour. We also use MouseOx to monitor our subjects when our inhibitors are directly dropped on the surface of the brain of a mouse with mosaic expression of GFP in its neurons.
In vivo force measurements
Some of our molecules were proved as highly selective inhibitors of fast skeletal muscles. This family of molecules could be optimal candidates as effective muscle relaxants with highly reduced side effect profile compared with the currently used medications. We test the effect of these molecules on the force production of skeletal muscles of young adult rats using an array of force measurement instruments. We measure the isometric and isotonic forces generated by the hind leg of rats using whole animal muscle test system (Aurora Scientific), muscle stiffness (Myoton) and the general body strength with grip strength meter (Bioseb).
We assess the sensory and motor functions of the animals relative to their general well-being based on a multi-dimensional scoring system supplemented by video recordings, image analysis, and advanced statistics.