Forsøksdyr: Validation and development of PET, SPECT, CT and MR protocols

Godkjenningsdato 04.06.2020

Godkjenningsperiode 04.06.2020-03.06.2024

Medical imaging systems, like MR and PET, are used in most areas in our health care system to diagnose and treat diseases. In animal research, such technologies are used to develop new treatments and to monitor animals during experiments. Over the last years, our preclinical imaging facility has built up a cutting-edge infrastructure in molecular imaging techniques (PET - positron emission tomography; SPECT - single photon emission tomography; CT -computed tomography, MR -magnetic resonance; and BLI - biolumiscence). These imaging systems enable visualization of metabolic and physiological information on a molecular level in live animals.
The planned project is a continuation of FOTS 8189. The purpose is to further develop and validate standard operating procedures and protocols for the imaging modalities at PETcore. This will ensure reproducibility and high practice standards when performing and using in vivo imaging in rodent experiments.
The procedures are minimal invasive (limited to injections of non-harmful substances using appropriate techniques). All procedures (injections and imaging) are carried out in anaesthesia. Only healthy animals are used (no disease models) and the severity for the most affected animals is regarded as mild.
Protocol development, training and validation have to be established for the different imaging modalities, for different scanning protocols, using different radiotracers/contrast agents, and in different strains of mice and in rats. This will require the use of about 60 animals of each species/strain per year. We therefore apply for the use of up to 250 animals of each species/strain during the project period, giving a maximum number of 250 rats and 1250 mice (5 strains) over four years.
The 3Rs has been considered in the following way:
Replacement: Whenever possible we will use phantoms instead of live animals for the testing, validation and training. Reduction: Generally, the implementation of molecular imaging techniques in animal experiments reduce the number of animals needed in each experiment as it allows for serial examination and multiple data collection of individual animals (e.g. more high-quality data are collected from each animal). Refinement: In general, the use of imaging in animal experiments contribute to refinement as biological processes can be detected at an earlier stage and consequently earlier humane and scientific endpoints can be established compared to traditional approaches. Our project will contribute to that procedures and protocols are validated, reproducible and of high standard before the techniques are used in future experiments (including on disease models).