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The more the merrier? Scoring, statistics and animal welfare in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis


Palle, Pushpalatha; Ferreira, Filipa M; Methner, Axel; Buch, Thorsten (2016). The more the merrier? Scoring, statistics and animal welfare in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Laboratory Animals, 50(6):427-432.

Abstract

Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is a frequently used animal model for the investigation of
autoimmune processes in the central nervous system. As such, EAE is useful for modelling certain aspects of
multiple sclerosis, a human autoimmune disease that leads to demyelination and axonal destruction. It is an
important tool for investigating pathobiology, identifying drug targets and testing drug candidates. Even
though EAE is routinely used in many laboratories and is often part of the routine assessment of knockouts
and transgenes, scoring of the disease course has not become standardized in the community, with at least
83 published scoring variants. Varying scales with differing parameters are used and thus limit comparability
of experiments. Incorrect use of statistical analysis tools to assess EAE data is commonplace. In experimental
practice the clinical score is used not only as an experimental readout, but also as a parameter to determine
animal welfare actions. Often overlooked factors such as the animal’s ability to sense its compromised
motoric abilities, drastic though transient weight loss, and also the possibility of neuropathic pain, make
the assessment of severity a difficult task and pose a problem for experimental refinement.

Abstract

Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is a frequently used animal model for the investigation of
autoimmune processes in the central nervous system. As such, EAE is useful for modelling certain aspects of
multiple sclerosis, a human autoimmune disease that leads to demyelination and axonal destruction. It is an
important tool for investigating pathobiology, identifying drug targets and testing drug candidates. Even
though EAE is routinely used in many laboratories and is often part of the routine assessment of knockouts
and transgenes, scoring of the disease course has not become standardized in the community, with at least
83 published scoring variants. Varying scales with differing parameters are used and thus limit comparability
of experiments. Incorrect use of statistical analysis tools to assess EAE data is commonplace. In experimental
practice the clinical score is used not only as an experimental readout, but also as a parameter to determine
animal welfare actions. Often overlooked factors such as the animal’s ability to sense its compromised
motoric abilities, drastic though transient weight loss, and also the possibility of neuropathic pain, make
the assessment of severity a difficult task and pose a problem for experimental refinement.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Laboratory Animal Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:EAE; animal welfare; humane endpoints; refinement; scoring scales
Date:2016
Deposited On:23 Jan 2017 16:23
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 22:05
Publisher:Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN:0023-6772
Funders:Hertie Foundation, grant number P1140090
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/0023677216675008
PubMed ID:27909192

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