Hematology & Serum Chemistry
For a number of mutant mice, the lesion under investigation is primarily biochemical rather than anatomical in nature. Thus, ante- or post-mortem determination of hematologic and serum chemical abnormalities is required. This is particularly true for models of diabetes and other metabolic diseases.
Serum chemistry analysis is performed by Pathology Services using our VetScan 2 instrument. Serum samples (100 µl) are analyzed for: albumin, alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransferase, amylase, total bilirubin, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), calcium, phosphorus, creatinine, glucose, sodium, potassium, globulins, and A/G ratio. The PI is expected to provide his or her own Comprehensive Diagnostic Profile rotors, which are available from Animal Health International (402-463-9891).
Hematology analysis is performed using the HemaVet 950 instrument, which measures 20 hematology parameters and performs a white blood cell differential on as little as 20 µl of blood. Appropriate blood collection tubes are available from Pathology Services.
Histopathology & Morphometry
Our skilled veterinary pathologist can provide investigators with accurate and thorough descriptions of histologic lesions present on submitted slides. For studies involving large numbers of animals with lesions in the same organ, such as skin carcinogenesis studies, lesions can be classified by type and graded by severity using a set of criteria agreed upon by the investigator and the pathologist.
For routine necropsy of mice, the following tissues are examined, collected, fixed overnight in 10% neutral buffered formalin, then placed in 70% ethanol for long term storage: skin, mammary tissue, peripheral lymph nodes, salivary glands, preputial/clitoral glands, testes/ovaries, uterus, cervix, vagina, prostate, seminal vesicles, bulbourethral glands, bladder, urethra, spleen, liver, gall bladder, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, pancreas, mesenteric lymph nodes, diaphragm, peritoneum, kidneys, adrenals, ureters, thymus, heart, lung, trachea, esophagus, thyroids, parathyroids, cranium, nasal passages, oral cavity, tongue, eyes, brain, pituitary, spine, limbs, sternum, and brown adipose tissue. Special collection techniques such as freezing or fixation in special fixatives may be employed as specified by the investigator. Digital images of gross lesions are routinely obtained.
During necropsy, the following are weighed to the nearest milligram: body, liver, spleen, kidneys, adrenals, thymus, and heart. Such weight information provides valuable quantitative data regarding adiposity, muscle wasting, and overall organ atrophy or hypertrophy.
For complete characterization of a mutant mouse, all tissues sampled are examined microscopically and digital images of microscopic lesions are prepared. For other studies, tissues to be examined histologically are determined by consultation between the investigator and service pathologist. Pathology staff will trim tissue for embedding and return the tissue to the investigator. It is the responsibility of the investigator to submit the samples to the Histology Laboratory, to arrange billing to the proper account, and to specify that slides be returned to the pathologist.
Preliminary and Final Reports are sent to the investigator by email in digital format. The Final Report includes a summary of all gross and histologic findings, an interpretation of the findings, suggested additional studies, and pertinent references. Digitized gross and microscopic images are included. All necropsies should be arranged in advance with the RHPI. To discuss and schedule necropsy services, please contact our Staff.
Thorough characterization of new strains of mutant mice is often referred to as phenotyping. Pathology Services offers the essential components of routine phenotyping, including survey radiographs (in coordination with Imaging Services), hematology and serum chemistry, complete gross necropsy, and extensive histopathology (in conjunction with the Histology Laboratory). Accurate evaluation of a mutant phenotype must take into account strain background, disease status, and husbandry conditions.
Manu M. Sebastian, D.V.M, Ph.D., D.A.C.V.P, D.A.B.T., D.A.C.L.A.M.
Director, Research Histology, Pathology and Imaging Core
Associate Professor, Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis
Jimi Lynn Brandon, MS, HT (ASCP)
Research Lab Coordinator
The Virginia Harris Cockrell Cancer Research Center
at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Science Park, Department of Epigenetics and Molecular Carcinogenesis
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 389, Smithville, Texas 78957
Physical Address: 1808 Park Road 1C, Smithville, Texas 78957