Experimental Animals and Animal Care
Both mice and rats obtained from various sources are employed in the studies. CF No 1 (CF-1) albino mice and Sprague-Dawley rats are strains that are useful for anticonvulsant studies because they are docile, easy to handle, and maximal electroshock seizures are rarely lethal in either species. CF-1 mice are obtained from Charles River, Kingston facility (Kingston, NY, U.S.A.), whereas, Sprague-Dawley albino rats are obtained from Charles River, Raleigh facility (Raleigh, NC, U.S.A.). C57BL/6 mice obtained from Charles River (Kingston, NY, U.S.A.) are used for corneal kindling seizure model, whereas, C57BL/6J mice obtained from The Jackson Laboratory (Bar Harbor, ME, U.S.A.) are used in the Theiler’s Murine Encephalomyelitis Virus (TMEV) and Intra-Amygdala Kainate models. The animals are maintained on an adequate diet and allowed free access to food (Teklad global soy protein-free extruded 2920X-011620M Envigo (Indianapolis, IN, U.S.A.)) and water, except during the short time they are removed from their cage for testing. This is important because dehydration and insufficient feeding can affect experimental outcomes, for example, it modifies the maximum electroshock seizure pattern resulting in shortened tonic flexion, prolonged tonic extension, and reduction in the threshold for minimal electroshock seizures. Animals newly received in the laboratory are allowed four days to acclimate to correct for possible food and water restriction and stress incurred during transit before being employed in testing. All mice and rats are housed in plastic cages in specially constructed rooms with controlled humidity, exchange of air and controlled lighting (12 hours on - 12 hours off). The 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 euthanized in accordance with the Institute of Laboratory Resources policies on the humane care of laboratory animals.