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Molecular Cardiology Research Institute (MCRI)

Mouse Physiology Core Facility

The Molecular Cardiology Research Institute (MCRI) explores molecular and cellular events that are important in regulating normal cardiovascular physiology and cardiovascular function in disease.  In order to investigate these molecular and cellular mechanisms as they relate to human biology, MCRI laboratories conduct extensive translational research that relies on a variety of novel models of cardiovascular disease.

The MCRI Mouse Physiology Core Facility is dedicated to the application of whole-animal mouse models to pursue questions related to the pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease.  The MCRI has established a series of murine cardiovascular models that are in active use in both the MCRI and in laboratories around the U.S. and Europe.  These models include a mouse model of carotid injury; a mouse closed-chest, cardiac electrophysiology model; and a mouse model of myocardial infarction.

The facility is equipped with three independent and fully functional murine ‘operating rooms’, each with Zeiss dual operator surgical microscopes with 35mm Camera adaptor and VHS video/audio taping capabilities with color monitor, Nikon single operator stereomicroscopes, Harvard rodent respirators, table top gas anesthesia machine (VetEquip Inc., Pleasanton Calif.) for rodent inhalation (Isofluorane) anesthesia, Honeywell simultrace physiological recorders with MacLab data acquisition analysis ECG monitoring, Visitech mouse tailcuff blood pressure analysis systems with laptop computer, Harvard syringe infusion pump with microliter per hour capabilities, Microsurgical instruments and supplies/ shaver, scale, heated operating surface, heat lamp, oxygen, rectal temperature monitoring, Olympus Bmax U-SPT microscope with Hitachi color video camera, VK-C370 with Sony Trinitron color video monitor PVM 1343MD, coupled with a Power Macintosh computer 7100/66AV with NIH image analysis software.

In addition, the facility includes the equipment necessary to perform continuous ambulatory telemetered EKG monitoring, hemodynamic monitoring and invasive electrophysiological testing. Specifically, it is equipped with a full complement of hemodynamic and ECG monitoring and acquisition equipment including MacLab data acquisition and ECG monitoring, Visitech mouse tailcuff blood pressure analysis system with laptop computer, 1.4f Millar pressure transducer catheters (#SPR-671), and control unit (#TC510), Scisense pressure-volume catheters (for mice) and control box coupled to an EMKA acquisition card and software that allows real-time viewing and analysis of P-V loops and other in vivo hemodynamic measurements. Additionally, the facility is equipped with a full range of electrophysiology tools including 2Fr. ClBer mouse EP catheters, implantable ECG monitors for continuous ambulatory telemetric ECG analysis (Data Science Inc.) and Dataquest ART data acquisition and analysis systems interfaced with a dedicated Dell PC for data collection. The MCRI Mouse Physiology Core also has a state of the art, Phillips-Sonos 7500 echocardiography system equipped with 12MHz sector array and 10-15MHz linear array transducers dedicated only to research applications to perform high throughput, mouse echocardiography studies.  Coupled with this system is a Dell-XPS Pentium IV computer (3.2MHz) equipped with Phillips based analysis software (qLAB) for use as an off-line workstation, on which digitally captured echocardiographic images can be analyzed.

The Mouse Physiology Core is directed by Mr. Mark Aronovitz, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine and a full-time member of the MCRI.  Mr. Aronovitz is a highly experienced animal scientist with special expertise in animal physiology models.  He serves on the institutional Division of Laboratory and Animal Medicine Committee responsible for reviewing all animal protocols and maintaining the strict Institutional guidelines for animal research work sanctioned by the IACUC.

In addition, Robert Blanton, MD serves as the Scientific Director of the Core, working closely with investigators and Mr. Aronovitz on research plans, policies and procedures.