Animal and Cell Characterization Core

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Animal and Cell Characterization Core

The purpose of the Animal and Cell Characterization Core is to:

  1. Provide services and equipment to analyze metabolism, insulin secretion, and insulin action in rodent models in vivo and in isolated cells and tissues.
  2. Provide expert advice and training in analyzing metabolism, insulin secretion, and insulin action in vivo and in vitro
  3. To develop new methodologies for analysis of metabolism, insulin secretion, and insulin action

Services

In vivo experiments:
  • Metabolic cage studies in CLAMS cages (Columbus Instruments) for automated non-invasive collection of several metabolic and behavioral parameters simultaneously in mice; measurements of food and water intake and excretion, determination of metabolic rates (oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production) and monitoring of activity levels.
  • Assessment of body composition with DEXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) in mice.
  • Insulin and glucose tolerance tests (mice and rats).
  • Blood collection for the measurement of blood metabolites and hormones (mice and rats).
  • In vivo glucose uptake measurements in adipose and muscle tissues.
In vitro characterization of primary cells and tissues:
  • Determination of glucose uptake by isolated adipocytes (mice and rats).
  • Determination of glucose uptake by isolated skeletal muscles (mice).
  • Determination of fat cell sizes in histological sections of formalin-fixed fat pads (mice and rats).
  • Islet Isolation and Characterizations (mice and rats) - see Islet Isolation Core.
Measurements of hormones and metabolites in rodent blood samples:

These measurements are now offered by the UVA Research Assay and Analysis Core directed by Dr. Daniel Haisenleder. Core personnel will arrange the analysis of blood samples collected from rodents in the Animal and Cell Characterization Core at the Research Assay and Analysis Core.

Additional equipment available for use in the core:
  • Non-invasive blood pressure monitor (tail cuff method, Columbus Instruments) for the measurement of systolic and diastolic blood pressures, as well as heart rate (mice and rats).
  • Nalgene metabolic cages (non-automated, manual operation) for measurements of water intake and urine output and food intake and feces production.

 

To request services or obtain additional information on the above services, please contact the core director Susanna Keller via email link or at 434-243-5780.

A list of the services and costs can be downloaded from here.

Consultation and Training

The core director Susanna Keller is available for consultations anytime an investigator needs advice in the analysis of rodent models as it relates to metabolism and insulin action. If an investigator needs advice on characterizing insulin secretion, please contact Dr. Craig Nunemaker.

The core personnel is also available to train in any of the in vivo experiments and in vitro characterization of primary cells and tissues listed above.

Detailed protocols for insulin and glucose tolerance tests and the collection of blood samples from mice can be downloaded from the following links:

Development of New Methodologies

The core plans to establish assays for the analysis of mitochondrial function in primary isolated adipocytes, skeletal muscles, and islets using Seahorse XF Analyzer technology. In the future, the core will also offer analyses of human muscle and fat biopsies obtained by clinical researchers. The core is in the process of developing new methods to analyze gene function in adipocytes in an efficient manner.

Director:
Susanna Keller, MD (434) 243-5780, srk4b@virginia.edu

Laboratory Specialist:
Stefan Hargett (434) 243-5910, sh4hq@virginia.edu

Location:
Room G136 in Animal Facility and Room 1237 in the Aurbach Research Building at Fontaine Research Park (450 Ray C. Hunt Drive)