Whole Mouse Phenotyping Service

The Whole Mouse Phenotyping Service performs gross evaluation and histopathology on genetically altered mice. Findings are documented and presented in publication-ready format.

The Standard Phenotyping Panel

The following procedures comprise the phenotyping panel on each mouse:

  1. Gross necropsy, with whole mouse and major organ weights.
  2. Immersion fixation, followed by processing for hematoxylin-and-eosin histopathology. Tissues evaluated during the initial screen include:
    1. Head – nasal passages, teeth, skin, vomeronasal organ, eyes, inner, middle and outer ear, tongue, salivary glands, brain, pituitary gland, bone.
    2. Heart (longitudinal section), lung (wholelung), trachea and thyroid glands.
    3. Liver, gall bladder, adrenal glands and kidneys (in transverse and longitudinal section).
    4. Stomach, duodenum, jejunum, pancreas, mesenteric lymph nodes.
    5. Ileum, cecum and colon, rectum.
    6. Urinary bladder, testes, accessory sex glands, preputial gland (in males) or uterus, ovaries, clitoral gland and mammary gland (in females).
    7. Cervical lymphoglandular complex (cervical lymph node, submandibular, submaxillary and parotid lymph nodes), diaphragm.
    8. Hind and forelimbs and sternum (skeletal muscle, bone marrow, peripheral nerve, skin, joints)
    9. Blood smear
  3. Documentation of gross and microscopic lesions, and written report.

All blocks and slides are returned to the investigator.

Microbiology and Clinical Pathology: Additional tests can be requested at the time of necropsy. These include bacteriology, virology (performed in-house) and molecular diagnostics for infectious agents. Serum chemistry, complete blood count and urinalysis are performed by an outside company, Antech Diagnostics (1-800–872-1001). These samples may be submitted directly by the investigator.

Getting Started

In general, two age-matched mice of each gender and of each genotype (–/–, +/– and +/+) are the minimum number of animals that can be submitted in order to obtain meaningful data. The age at which mice are submitted depends upon the age at which the phenotype becomes apparent – if there is no clinical phenotype, submitting a set of young (6-8 weeks) and older (15-20 months) animals is recommended.

In addition, several factors impact interpretation of pathology in the mice. These include background strain, extent of backcrossing, disease status, and information about the manipulated gene, or experimental therapy. A comprehensive review of issues impacting successful anatomic phenotyping can be found at: Pathologic Phenotyping of Genetically Altered Mice.

Variations in the standard approach may include perfusion of mice, examination of selected organ systems only or cytology. When you are ready to speak with us, please submit the on-line form and we will contact you to arrange a meeting.