Research mice & where should they come from?

John Ladasky ladasky at leland.Stanford.EDU
Wed Mar 8 21:50:53 EST 1995

In article <9503081438.aa01752 at>,
>Another week and spring break and I'll give you folks a break from my
>endless questions!
>Here's another scenario.  Small University = no money.  I'm going to use
>mouse lymphocytes to finish a grad students project.  It has been suggested
>that I could just buy some pet store mice, euthanize them and harvest the
>blood for my project.  The concern I expressed was possible criticism at
>publication submission time that said mice could be diseased and effect the
>results.  Their response was that animal facility mice are infected anyway
>and there is no guarantee of freedom from disease unless you go to SPF mice
>(and $$$). Any comments?

Greetings, Gordon,

	I'm a grad student at a large university = lots o' money.  Quality
of data is always issue #1 here.  IMO, the primary concern one would have in
using mice from the pet store is that their genetic background would be

	I'm not sure what kind of a project you're undertaking, but since
you mentioned lymphocytes, my brain is thinking immunology.  If, for example,
you used a mouse of unknown origin for a functional study of infection, no
one could be sure of duplicating your results.  Balb/C and C57/Bl6 mice have
very different responses to Leishmania infection.  They may react to differ-
ent antigenic peptides, they definitely have different cytokine profiles, and
only one strain survives the infection.  

	I would bet that a reviewer would bring this up before they concerned
themselves with whether the mice were infected -- by the way, infected with

Unique ID : Ladasky, John Joseph Jr.
Title     : BA Biochemistry, U.C. Berkeley, 1989
Location  : Stanford University, Dept. of Structural Biology, Fairchild D-105
Keywords  : immunology, music, running, Green

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