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Continual conscious bioluminescent imaging in freely moving somatotransgenic mice

Karda, R and Perocheau, DP and Suff, N and Ng, J and Delhove, JMKM and Buckley, SMK and Richards, S and Counsell, JR and Hagberg, H and Johnson, MR and McKay, TR and Waddington, SN (2017) Continual conscious bioluminescent imaging in freely moving somatotransgenic mice. Scientific Reports, 7 (1). ISSN 2045-2322

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Abstract

© 2017 The Author(s). Luciferase bioimaging in living animals is increasingly being applied in many fields of biomedical research. Rodent imaging usually involves anaesthetising the animal during data capture, however, the biological consequences of anaesthesia have been largely overlooked. We have evaluated luciferase bioimaging in conscious, unrestrained mice after neonatal intracranial or intravascular administration of lentiviral, luciferase reporter cassettes (biosensors); we present real-time analyses from the first day of life to adulthood. Anaesthetics have been shown to exert both neurotoxic and neuroprotective effects during development and in models of brain injury. Mice subjected to bioimaging after neonatal intracranial or intravascular administration of biosensors, targeting the brain and liver retrospectively showed no significant difference in luciferase expression when conscious or unconscious throughout development. We applied conscious bioimaging to the assessment of NFκB and STAT3 transcription factor activated reporters during the earliest stages of development in living, unrestrained pups. Our data showed unique longitudinal activities for NFκB and STAT3 in the brain of conscious mice. Conscious bioimaging was applied to a neonatal mouse model of cerebral palsy (Hypoxic-Ischaemic Encephalopathy). Imaging of NFκB reporter before and after surgery showed a significant increase in luciferase expression, coinciding with secondary energy failure, in lesioned mice compared to controls.

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