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Research

Murine Models of Cardiovascular Disease and Their Monitoring

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Background and Rationale

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This core arose as a fundamental part of the National Research and Demonstration Center at Baylor College of Medicine (1978). Drs. Mark Entman, Lloyd Michael, and Craig Hartley supervised this effort at its inception.

The core is much more than a service core; it has continually developed and provided instrumentation, monitoring strategies and disease model strategies to allow us to form the paradigms and test the hypotheses fundamental to animal models of disease, dysfunction and therapeutics.

The cores are currently supervised by George E. Taffet, M.D. and Anilkumar K. Reddy, Ph.D. Dr. Taffet, professor in the Department of Medicine, has been involved in animal experimentation for over 30 years and is currently director of the DeBakey Heart Center Animal Core Laboratory. Dr. Taffet has a depth of experience with research using survival surgery in developing and longitudinal physiologic monitoring of animal models of disease in both anesthetized and awake mice. Dr. Mark L. Entman initiated the development of a dedicated laboratory for survival mouse surgery and chronic monitoring. The laboratory is able to monitor cardiovascular function serially in the same mouse over several months to assess function on the therapeutic effect. Dr. Reddy directs the Instrumentation Core of the DeBakey Heart Center; he continually provides developmental and strategic expertise for new requirements arising in our experiments.

The laboratory has developed Doppler catheters for sensing coronary blood flow at cardiac catheterization, and an ultrasonic gauge to measure regional wall thickness at various locations in the myocardium. Drs. Taffet and Reddy are responsible for developing the equipment and techniques in the core and pioneered the development of pulse Doppler technology for following individual animals longitudinally after physiologic, pathologic, and pharmacologic cardiovascular interventions. Instruments have been constructed for other laboratories and the core continues to supply other equipment to this day.