Animal Breeding

Department of Toxicology and Laboratory Animal Breeding has a certificate for breeding and experimental use of laboratory animals issued by State Veterinary and Food Administration of Slovak Republic (SK P 23011). The animals are produced for R&D, available for the customers from research institutes, academy and industry. For more information please contact

Ing. Ivan Padej
e-mail: ivan.padej@savba.sk
tel. +421-917-570993 or +421-33-5547165

Laboratory animals

LABORATORY RATS

WISTAR

The Wistar rat is an outbred albino rat. This breed was developed at the Wistar Institute in 1906 for use in biological and medical research, and is notably the first rat developed to serve as a model organism at a time when laboratories primarily used the common house mouse (Mus musculus). The Wistar rat is currently one of the most popular rats used for laboratory research (toxicology, pathophysiology, aging, infectious diseases, behavioral studies. It is characterized by its wide head, long ears, and having a tail length that is always less than its body length.

SHR

Spontaneously hypertensive rat is an inbred animal model of essential (or primary) hypertension, used to study cardiovascular disease. It is the most studied model of hypertension measured as number of publications. The SHR strain was obtained during the 1960s by Okamoto and colleagues, who started breeding Wistar-Kyoto rats with high blood pressure. SHR rat is also used as a model of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

LEWIS

The Lewis rat was developed by Dr. Lewis from Wistar stock in the early 1950s. Characteristics include albino coloring, a docile behavior, and low fertility. The Lewis rat suffers from several spontaneous pathologies: first, they can suffer from high incidences of neoplasms, with the rat’s lifespan mainly determined by this. The most common are adenomas of the pituitary and adenomas/adenocarcinomas of the adrenal cortex in both sexes, mammary gland tumors and endometrial carcinomas in females, and C-cell adenomas/adenocarcinomas of the thyroid gland and tumors of the haemopoietic system in males. Second, Lewis rats are prone to develop a spontaneous transplantable lymphatic leukaemia. Lastly, when in advanced age, they sometimes develop spontaneous glomerular sclerosis. Current research applications include transplantation research, induced arthritis/inflammation, experimental allergic encephalitis, and STZ-induced diabetes.

ZDF

The Zucker rat was bred to be a genetic model for research on obesity and hypertension. They are named after Lois M. Zucker and Theodore F. Zucker, pioneer researchers in the study of the genetics of obesity. There are two types of Zucker rat: a lean Zucker rat, denoted as the dominant trait (Fa/Fa) or (Fa/fa); and the characteristically obese (or fatty) Zucker rat, which is actually a recessive trait (fa/fa) of the leptin receptor, capable of weighing up to 1 kilogram – more than twice the average weight. Obese Zucker rats have high levels of lipids and cholesterol in their bloodstream, are resistant to insulin without being hyperglycemic, and gain weight from an increase in both the size and number of fat cells. Obesity in Zucker rats is primarily linked to their hyperphagic nature, and excessive hunger; however, food intake does not fully explain the hyperlipidemia or overall body composition.

HTG

The Prague hereditary hypertriglyceridemic (hHTG) rat was developed as a model of human hypertriglyceridemia. It was demonstrated that these rats are not obese, they are hypertensive and insulin resistant and they have some disturbances in glucose metabolism. Several QTLs were identified for blood pressure, its particular components (dependent on major vasoactive systems) and plasma triglycerides throughout the genome of hHTG rats by using of F(2) hybrids strategy. It is evident that hHTG rats are a suitable model for the study of metabolic disturbances in relation to blood pressure as well as for the search of genetic determinants of these abnormalities.

LABORATORY MICE

BALB/c

BALB/c is a laboratory-bred strain of the House Mouse from which a number of common substrains are derived. Now over 200 generations from New York in 1920, BALB/c mice are distributed globally, and are among the most widely used inbred strains used in animal experimentation. BALB/c is an albino, immunodeficient inbred strain. BALB/c mice have the characteristics of easy breeding and minimal weight variations between males and females. Much noteworthy is that the mammary tumour incidence in BALB/c mice is low, but they are very sensitive to carcinogens, and can develop lung tumours, reticular neoplasms, renal tumours, and others. In addition, mineral oil injection can readily induce plasmacytomas in BALB/c strain, and this strain has been used extensively for hybridoma and monoclonal antibody production. BALB/c mice are useful for research in cancer therapy and immunology.

ICR

The ICR mouse is a strain of albino mice originating in Switzerland and selected by Dr. Hauschka to create a fertile mouse line. Because mice of this strain have been sent to various places from the Institute of Cancer Research in the USA, the strain was named ICR after the initial letters of the institute. ICR mice are characterized by docile nature, high productivity, rapid growth rate and low incidence of spontaneous tumor. ICR mice are a general-purpose model, used in particular in toxicology, neurobiology, oncology, infection, pharmacology, and also in product safety testing.

GUINEA PIGS
The use of guinea pigs in scientific experimentation dates back at least to the 17th century, when the Italian biologists Marcello Malpighi and Carlo Fracassati conducted vivisections of guinea pigs in their examinations of anatomic structures. In 1780, Antoine Lavoisier used a guinea pig in his experiments with the calorimeter. The heat from the guinea pig’s respiration melted snow surrounding the calorimeter, showing that respiratory gas exchange is a combustion, similar to a candle burning. Guinea pigs played a major role in the establishment of germ theory in the late 19th century, through the experiments of Louis Pasteur, Émile Roux, and Robert Koch.

TRIK

Guinea pig is an tricolour outbred strain derived from the short haired English Guinea pig. It has contributed widely to virology, oncology and pharmacology research.

DH

The Dunkin Hartley Guinea pig is an albino outbred strain derived from the short haired English Guinea pig. It has contributed widely to immunological research, including delayed hypersensitivity and anaphylactic shock. Guinea pigs are also valuable for studies on Tuberculosis, Vitamin C deficiency, and pharmacology.

RABBITS

HIL

This breed was created by crossing the Californian, New Zealand White and Nitra Rabbit. It is medium size breed (3-5 kg) of white or acromelanic color used in cardiovascular research and infectious disease models. Routinely used in antibody production for biotechnology industry and embryotoxicity and teratology studies of chemicals.

Laboratory diets

Following laboratory animals’ diets are produced, certified by The Central Controlling and Testing Institute in Agriculture (ÚKSÚP) – SK 100089:

  • The complete diet for laboratory rats and mice: KKZ-P/M (reg.no 6147)
  • The complete diet for laboratory Guinea pigs and rabbits: KKZ-M/K (reg.no 6148)

Experimental diets according to requirements are available for customers upon request.
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