Equipped with the best
The Center’s state-of-the-art research facilities reside on the campuses of Washington’s two major research universities. They provide researchers and clinicians with access to tools suitable for evaluating experimental and pre-clinical models and for diagnosing and treating muscle pathologies. These resources are available to all WCMB members, to their collaborators and to the greater university community.
Veterinary Medical Research Building
This building houses faculty from different departments (Animal Sciences, Bioengineering, Integrative Physiology & Neuroscience and Psychology) as well as WCMB’s Exercise Physiology Phenotyping Core that includes short-term rodent housing suites and access to a modern vivarium for long-term animal housing. The core also includes equipment for functionally assessing skeletal and cardiac muscle in whole organisms and for post-harvest histological analysis.
> Veterinary Medical Research Building
Exercise Physiology Phenotyping
This core includes equipment and
resources for assessing cardiac function, such as echocardiography and
electrophysiology,in pre-clinical animal models. It also includes
metabolic treadmills and other equipment for assessing cardiac output,
skeletal muscle function and exercise performance. Small (rodents) and
large (dogs, pigs, horses, etc.) animals can be housed for short- or
long-term in AAALAC accredited facilities, often for free. Access to
these facilities is provided through collaborations with the core
directors so please contact Dr. Lynne Nelson for more information.
Repairing damaged muscle, whether skeletal or cardiac, is fundamentally important to treating many muscular dystrophies and many types of heart failure. The Rodgers laboratory is determining how hormones and other chemical messengers regulate myogenesis and more importantly, how controlling it with gene or stem cell therapeutics will develop better treatments.
Attenuating the actions of MYOSTATIN is at the core of their research. As its name implies (“myo” for muscle & “statin” for inhibitor), myostatin is a muscle-specific hormone that negatively regulates muscle growth. Inhibiting the inhibitor, therefore, increases the mass and functional capacity of both skeletal and cardiac muscle. The Jekyll mouse lacks the gene for myostatin, is double muscled and its stem cells glow green after drinking a “secret formula”. What else would you name it, Mr. Hyde? The mouse is helping scientists determine exactly how myostatin regulates muscle stem cells (pictured, mature muscle cells derived from stem cells) and will be instrumental in developing novel therapeutics for treating many muscle related diseases. In fact, the Rodgers laboratory is currently testing a new gene therapy that can significantly enhance muscle growth by blocking myostatin action inside the cell. This approach is highly specific and has a much reduced potential for causing unwanted side effects.
Franceschi Microscopy and Imaging Center
This core maintains two TEMs, two SEMs, three confocal microscopes,
fluorescence microscopes and various light microscopes. The Phillips TEM
also has an EDX analyzer for elemental analysis. Computers for image
processing and analysis and access to skilled staff are also provided.
Inquiries about services and courses offered or class tours of the
facilities can be made by calling (509) 335-3025.
> Franceschi Microscopy and Imaging Center
Comparative Orthopedic Research Laboratory
This core provides access to various imaging tools useful for assessing
body composition in small (rodents, rabbits, etc.) and large (dogs,
pigs, horses, grizzly bears) animals. This includes Dual Energy X-Ray
Absorptiometry (DXA), Computed Tomography (CT),
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Nuclear Scintigraphy and
Ultrasonography. For more information, please call 800-498-9459 or
e-mail the CORL.
> Comparative Orthopedic Research Laboratory
Bayly Exercise Physiology Research Lab
This lab is equipped with high-speed and aquatic treadmillsfor functionally assessing exercise and respiratory metabolic performance in large animals (dogs, pigs, horses). The core is used for research, diagnostic and therapeutic purposes and is particularly well equipped for drug intervention and pre-clinical testing as it is managed by veterinarians with expertise in specific vertebrate species. For more information, please contact the core supervisor, Ray Sides (509-335-0805).
Hormone Assay Core
This core is managed by WSU’s Center for Reproductive Biology and
performs radioimmuno (RIA), radioreceptor (RRA) and enzyme-linked
immunosorbant asssys (ELISA). It also generates antisera for the
construction of novel assays and trains university personnel. For more
information, visit their homepage or contact the coordinator, David de Avila (509-335-8158).
> Hormone Assay Core