RAT MODIFIED IRWIN TEST (FUNCTIONAL OBSERVATIONAL BATTERY)
Studies are conducted in adult male and female Sprague Dawley rats (Envigo) in an AAALAC-accredited facility with approval from an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, and implemented in accordance with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals 8th Edition (National Research Council, 2011) with standards set by the National Institutes of Health.
The modified Irwin functional observation battery is a multi-parameter (autonomic, neuromuscular, sensorimotor, and behavioral) assessment of nervous system function in rodents. This systematic observational method describes and quantifies the behavioral and physiological state of rodents in response to drug exposures and can be used for multiple investigational goals including the selection of appropriate doses and optimal therapeutic window for subsequent assays. The procedure initially described by Irwin (1968) in mice was later adapted to rats (Moser, 1991; Mathiasen and Moser, 2018).
The modified Irwin test is conducted in appropriate group sizes determined by power analysis. Male and female rats (n=4) are evaluated in separate cohorts. Dose-responses are investigated, and in addition to a vehicle control, an unblinded, untreated, naïve control is used to establish baseline activity and to account for environmental variables that may affect the behaviors of the healthy animal. For all other animals, experimenters are blinded to the treatments, and dosing is performed by an independent experimenter.
Before testing, animals are handled over two days to familiarize them with the experimenter. Animals are visually evaluated by two independent observers simultaneously. Baseline behavioral observations are first recorded. Rats are then dosed and observations are recorded again at designated timepoints post-treatment depending on the asset.
The estimated observation time required is less than 5 minutes per animal.
At each timepoint, the recorded observations include
Experimenters note increases, decreases, and severity of the behavioral symptoms or physiological manifestations. The standard rating system consists of a score of 0= normal activity of each specific outcome. Scores of 1, 2, 3, or 4 grade the level of behaviors observed as slight, moderate, extreme, or severe.
This work was conducted by PsychoGenics Inc. (Paramus, NJ) in collaboration with PSPP, NINDS, NIH under contract # 75N95019D00026