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With ActualHCA you obtain 90% more data whilst using 50% fewer rodents as identified by the Unviersity of Strathclyde. We created ActualHCA with the aim of making in vivo testing on rodents more easily compliant with the 3Rs and reducing safety-related project closures further up the drug discovery pipeline without compromising on the data.

ActualHCA delivers...

*As Identified by the University of Strathclyde  

 

Below are some case studies displaying the type of data ActualHCA can provide

  

  • Subcutaneous temperature

    Dr Will Redfern, Associate Director of the Cardiovascular and CNS Translational Centre of Expertise at AstraZeneca, has already conducted some experimentation with ActualHCA. You can see some of the results in the temperature chart below.

     

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    Dr Will Redfern, Associate Director of the Cardiovascular and CNS Translational Centre of Expertise at AstraZeneca, has already conducted some experimentation with ActualHCA. You can see some of the results in the temperature chart below.

     

    • Decrease in subcutaneous temperature immediately upon housing singly after being housed in groups of 3
    • Possible causes: group housing or rats enables intermittent 'huddling' with two cage mates, and may achieve a higher ambient temperature (with two additional rats generating heat)  
    • Illustrates just one of several physiological stressors associated with single housing (not to mention the psychological stressors)

    One of the key observations made by Dr Redfern is the difference in temperature data between rats housed singly and rats housed in groups. As you can see on the chart, there is an immediate decrease in subcutaneous temperature when rats are housed singly after being housed as part of a group of three. The lowered temperature then continues over the long term, mirroring the fluctuations that occur within a group without ever reaching an equivalent baseline.

    It is possible that the drop in temperature is down to the lack of ability to “huddle” with other rats, and the ambient temperature of the cage is likely affected by only having one rat inside generating heat. The temperature change is one physiological stress factor that comes with housing rodents alone. This kind of data goes a long way towards illustrating the benefits of a system that allows rodents to be housed in groups, as factors like temperature can make a real impact on drug development studies.It’s also worth noting that being housed alone places a psychological stress on rodents that can manifest itself in behaviour, further complicating the process of isolating unusual behaviours and activity.

  •  Locomotor data

    Shown in the plot above is the total sum of locomotor activity recorded for 3 subjects in the group housed cage of the ActualHCA system under a 12:12 light:dark (LD) cycle over a period of 5 days. The dark phases of the cycles are indicated by the shaded areas on the plot. Note that activity patterns captured by the ActualHCA system are comparable to those recorded by traditional capture methods, with clear day night differences in activity levels evident, as well as peaks of locomotor activity visible in the dark phase.

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    Shown in the plot above is the total sum of locomotor activity recorded for 3 subjects in the group housed cage of the ActualHCA system under a 12:12 light:dark (LD) cycle over a period of 5 days. The dark phases of the cycles are indicated by the shaded areas on the plot. Note that activity patterns captured by the ActualHCA system are comparable to those recorded by traditional capture methods, with clear day night differences in activity levels evident, as well as peaks of locomotor activity visible in the dark phase.

    Further, activity start and stop times are tightly associated with lights off and lights on respectively, as would be expected. Note also the higher activity levels observed upon initial transfer ofthe animals into the home cage during the habituation stage. Chi-squared analysis of both group and individual subject activity data output by ActualHCA revealed a 24hr activity period as would be expected under a 12:12 LD cycle. 

      

    However, in contrast to other activity recording methods such as wheel running records, the ActualHCA system allows detection of small movements allowing extremely accurate characterisation of the locomotor phenotype. The activity records recorded by the baseplate (shown in red) and the locomotor data captured by the video (shown in green) are validated against eachother and are seen to closely correlate.

    Further to this, ActualHCA can capture individual locomotor activity data for the group housed animals. Shown above are plots of locomotor activity recorded for each individual subject in the ActualHCA system over the same time period under a 12:12 LD cycle.

    Shown below are double plotted actograms of locomotor activity captured by the ActualHCA system for each individual subject in the group housed cage from which additional circadian locomotor activity parameters can be assessed. Each horizontal line corresponds to one circadian cycle and the black vertical bars plotted side-by-side represent the activity at a given time interval. The height of each vertical bar represents the accumulated number of antenna transitions for that interval.

    • Subject 1

    • Subject 2

    • Subject 3