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Phenotyping

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Grip test

Purpose

This test measures the muscular muscle strength using an isometric dynamometer connected to a grid. Once the animal is holding the grid with its forepaws it is slowly moved backwards until it releases it. The dynamometer records the maximal force exerted.

Sample test results

Grip test

Equipment

2 grip strength apparati (BIOSEB, Vitrolles, France)

Recommendations

10 mice per group are recommended for reliable data analysis.

Rotarod test

Purpose

This test measures the ability of an animal to maintain balance on a rotating rod. This task requires a variety of proprioceptive, vestibular and fine-tuned motor abilities.

Sample test results

Rotarod latency

Equipment

2 rotarod apparati (BIOSEB, Vitrolles, France)

Recommendations

10 mice per group are recommended for reliable data analysis.

Traction reflex test (String test)

Purpose

The string test measures the time required for a forelimb-hanging mouse to gain hindlimb traction. Defects in latency time reflect potential alteration in traction force, drug-induced sedation, or deficient coordination (Meziane et al. 1996)

Sample test results

String test

Equipment

 Customized equipment: a wire stretched horizontally 40 cm above a table.

Recommendations

10 mice per group are recommended for reliable data analysis.

Balance Beam Test

Purpose

The balance beam test or gait analysis is relatively specific for evaluation of proprioceptive sensitivity. However, the performance in this test also depends on the integrity of motor coordination and vestibular function. 

Equipment

An elevated beam of standardized diameter and length.

Recommendations

10 mice per group are recommended for reliable data analysis.

One-meter swim test

Purpose

The one-meter swim test is used to evaluate swimming ability of mice. 

Equipment

A straight swim tank (100 cm long, 6 cm wide, 27.3 cm high) made of translucent PVC and filled at 21 cm depth with water. A visible platform is placed opposite to the starting point, allowing to the animal to escape from water.

Recommendations

10 mice per group are recommended for reliable data analysis.

Electromyography

Purpose

Electromyographic recording allows neurophysiological measurement of sensory-motor function. In situations of demyelination and/or axonal degeneration, the compound muscle action potential (CMAP), latency of motor response and sensitive nerve conduction velocity (SNCV) are affected. 

Sample test results

Equipment

Key Point electromyograph (EMG) apparatus (Medtronic, Boulogne-Billancourt, France). The body temperature is maintained at 37 °C with a homeostatic blanket (Harvard, LES ULIS, France). 

Recommendations

10 mice per group are recommended for reliable data analysis.

MoRaG

Purpose

The MoRaG test consists of a semiquantative and quantitative assessment of reaching and grasping behavior in mice. These fine-tuned motor abilities are altered in neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease. In this test, mice submitted to food restriction are forced to use a single paw instead of their mouth in order to get a small food pellet.

Equipment

Homemade equipment: A Plexiglas chambers 10.5 cm high by 6 cm deep by 6 cm wide. On outside the front wall of each cubicle, a Plexiglas feeding plane, accessible only through a 9 mm diameter opening, is attached 5.4 cm from the floor.

Recommendations

10 mice per group are recommended for reliable data analysis.

Automated Gait Analysis

Purpose

Gait analysis evaluates proprioceptive sensitivity but also assesses the integrity of motor coordination and vestibular function. Animals require an accurate paw placement to succeed in this test. The gait is altered in in different pathologies including ataxia or neuropathic pain.

Strain background references

Hansen and Pulst, 2013

Equipment

DigiGait™ (Mouse Specifics, Inc., Framingham, USA) transparent treadmill instrumentation.

Recommendations

10 mice per group are recommended for reliable data analysis

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