3 Minute 3Rs September 2021

Sept 2021 


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

The papers behind the pod: 

  1. Performance of preclinical models in predicting drug-induced liver injury in humans: a systematic review. Scientific Reports 11, 6403 (2021) https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-85708-2 
  2. Ratlas-LH: An MRI template of the Lister hooded rat brain with stereotaxic coordinates for neurosurgical implantations Brain and Neuroscience Advances (2021) https://doi.org/10.1177/23982128211036332 
  3. O mouse, where art thou? The Mouse Position Surveillance System (MoPSS)—an RFID-based tracking system. Behavior Research Methods (2021) https://doi.org/10.3758/s13428-021-01593-7 



It’s the 3rd Thursday of September, 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 month, we’ve got a paper for each R. Let’s get started with a replacement. 


Drug induced liver injury in clinical trial and for newly approved drugs is a serious adverse reaction that causes massive financial loss and preventable human suffering. But what if we could more accurately predict these adverse reactions before they happened? 

A systematic review in Scientific Reports compared two anti-diabetic drugs, one that was withdrawn from the market due to liver injuries and another that remains. They reviewed in vivo studies, in vitro data, and reported liver injury cases. While the animal and human trials failed to predict liver injuries, the in vitro assays showed the withdrawn drug had twice the activity than the other. 

Overall, in vitro assays may offer a new paradigm to predict drug induced liver injuries thereby improving drug safety and development. Want to learn more? Read the full paper online. 

Next let’s reduce... 


If you want to know where you’re going, an atlas can help – and now, if you’re performing rodent stereotaxic surgery, Ratlas can help! 

Lister hooded rats are widely used in behavioural neuroscience studies in the UK and beyond. When these studies involve stereotaxic surgery, accurate coordinates are vital for precisely targeting the relevant areas of the brain – otherwise, additional animals may be used for pilot surgeries to establish the correct coordinates. 

To reduce the need for these pilot surgeries, ­researchers at the University of Nottingham and Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology have developed Ratlas-LH, a user-friendly template combining in vivo MRI images and ex vivo micro-CT images of young adult male Lister hooded rats. The team have published a paper describing the development and validation of Ratlas-LH, and aim to expand their work to other commonly used rat and mouse strains. 

Interested? Read the paper in Brain and Neuroscience Advances and download Ratlas-LH for free. 

And finally, let’s refine: 

Lab Animal 

Most mice will spend most of their time just hanging out in the comfort of their home cages. Providing simple husbandry refinements there can go a long way for the animals’ welfare, but what do mice want? Why not ask them? 

A new home cage device from researchers at the German Center for the Protection of Laboratory Animals aims to do just that. Dubbed the Mouse Position...

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