3 Minute 3Rs May 2020

You’re listening to the May episode of 3 Minute 3Rs.

The papers behind the pod:


1        Refining rodent models of spinal cord injury: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.expneurol.2020.113273

2        Preclinical validation of the micropipette-guided drug administration (MDA) method in the maternal immune activation model of neurodevelopmental disorders https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889159120302543

3      Identifying obstacles preventing the uptake of tunnel handling methods for laboratory mice: An international thematic survey https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0231454


It’s the Third Thursday of May and you’re listening to 3 Minute 3Rs, your monthly recap of efforts to replace, reduce, and refine the use of animals in research. This episode, we’ll be talking about that last R, starting with a refined rodent model of spinal cord injury.

[NC3Rs] Spinal cord injury research relies heavily on the use of rodent models, but these models can cause significant suffering. To address this, the UK’s RSPCA convened an expert working group whose practical experience and expertise have informed a new set of recommendations on applying the 3Rs to rodent models of spinal cord injury.


The 13 recommendations include reducing the severity of cervical level injuries or applying them to just one side of the body; providing adequate pain relief as standard; and planning and publishing research in accordance with good practice guidelines. A common theme is finding a balance between refining protocols and reducing animal use – for example, the appropriate use of both male and female subjects to reduce sex bias and improve translatability.


If you work on spinal cord injury, these recommendations can help guide your 3Rs initiatives and ultimately improve treatments for those affected. Read them online now in Experimental Neurology.



[Lab Animal] Next, what if there was a better way to administer treatments to your mice? Oral gavage can cause stress and minipumps require surgery, while providing a drug in food or water for the animals to consume at their leisure can be imprecise.

To refine oral delivery, Joseph Scarborough and colleagues at the University of Zurich present their micropipette-guided drug administration, or MDA, method.

They trained their mice to voluntarily consume what was on offer from a micropipette by sweetening the deal, adding a touch of sweetened condensed milk mixed with water as a delivery vehicle. The mice found things palatable indeed but to validate the approach, the researchers compared pharmokinetic profiles of risperidone administered via traditional gavage and the new MDA method. Those profiles were similar, except for stress levels. Cortisone was lower in the animals who consumed the risperidone willingly.  

To check out MDA protocol and see additional results with mouse models of maternal immune activation, see the publication in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

And finally, let’s take a look at...

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.