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Experimental Animals and Animal Care Line  
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Adult male CF No 1 albino mice obtained from Charles River, Portage, Michigan, and male Sprague-Dawley albino rats obtained from the Raleigh facility of Charles River, are employed as the primary experimental animals. Male and female Frings audiogenic seizure (AGS)-susceptible mice (Anticonvulsant Drug Development (ADD) Program, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT) are also used as experimental animals. CF No 1 mice and Sprague-Dawley rats are strains that are preferred for anticonvulsant studies because they are docile, easy to handle and maximal electroshock seizures are rarely lethal in either species [1]. Rats of age 28 to 38 days were selected because they are most sensitive to electroshock seizures. All animals used are, the same strain, sex, age and weight, since these factors are known to be associated with variations in the ED50 anticonvulsant drug values [2, 3]. The table provided below summarizes each of the tests currently performed by the Epilepsy Therapy Screening Program (ETSP), including test numbers, animal weight (g) ranges, and whether animals used are re-utilized or not for each respective test.

 Animal weight chart for each test number.

All animals are housed, fed, and handled in a manner consistent with the recommendations in the National Council Publication, "Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory animals". No insecticides capable of altering hepatic drug metabolism enzymes are used in the animal facility. Animals are maintained on a Prolab RMH 3000 diet and allowed free access to food and water, except during the short time they are removed from their cage for testing. This is important because dehydration and insufficient feeding modify the maximum electroshock seizure pattern; shorten tonic flexion, prolong tonic extension and reduce the threshold for tonic extension seizures [4]. Animals newly received in the laboratory are allowed sufficient time to acclimate in the animal facility before being employed in testing and housed in plastic cages in specially constructed rooms with controlled humidity, exchange of air and controlled lighting (12 hours on - 12 hours off).

Except for audiogenic seizure studies, kindling studies, and sciatic ligation studies (on request of the contract officer representative (COR)) all animals are used only once and then euthanized (CO2 chamber) in accordance with the Institute of Laboratory Resources polices on the humane care of laboratory animals and approved by the University of Utah’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).

1. Torchiana, M.L. and C.A. Stone, Post-seizure mortality following electroshock convulsions in certain strains of mice. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med., 1959. 100: p. 290-293.
2. Petty, W.C. and R. Karler, The influence of aging on the activity of anticonvulsant drugs. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther., 1965. 150: p. 443-448.
3. Woolley, D.E., et al., Sex and strain differences in electroshock convulstions of the rat. Nature, 1961. 190: p. 515-516.
4. Davenport, V.D. and H.W. Davenport, The relation between starvation, metabolic acidosis and convulsive seizures in rats. J. Nutrition, 1948. 36: p. 139-152.
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Last updated: 25 Mar 2016
* Public Access to Neuroactive & Anticonvulsant CHemical Evaluations (PANAChE) database
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