Acquisition of Shared Thermoneutral Rodent Housing Resources

Grants and Contracts Details


PROJECT SUMARY/ABSTRACT The need to house and maintain laboratory rodents under conditions of thermoneutrality, i.e., at the ambient temperature at which energy expenditure is limited to that required to maintain basal metabolic rate, is increasingly recognized as critical to achieving rigorous research outcomes. Evidence of temperature effects on a vast array of physiological functions and pathologies spanning energy expenditure, immune function and response, blood pressure, heart rate, sleep, food intake, tumor growth and resistance, and more have raised awareness of the need to factor thermoneutrality into research designs to enhance the validity of research findings and their translation to understand and enhance human health. To accommodate recent and ongoing campus expansion of research capabilities for conducting biomedical studies in mice under thermoneutrality, the University of Kentucky (UK) proposes to establish a Thermoneutrality Suite in its newest vivarium in the recently constructed Healthy Kentucky Research Building (HKRB). The 3,000 sq. ft. HKRB vivarium supports a 265,000 sq. ft. six-floor state-of-the-art biomedical research facility that opened in 2018 and is contiguous to animal facilities in two adjacent modern research buildings. The long-term goal of this equipment application is to enhance and modernize animal research support operations managed by the UK Division of Laboratory Animal Resources (DLAR) by equipping a three-room Thermoneutrality Suite (970 sq. ft. of space) with dedicated advanced thermoneutrality caging. The proposed suite, to be operated by DLAR and overseen by the Associate Vice President for Research Core Facilities, will achieve the specific aim to permit both the breeding and housing of mouse colonies at thermoneutrality by acquiring six mobile Solace Zone IVC caging systems to be installed in a 385 sq. ft. space adjoining two rooms equipped for experimentation under thermoneutral study conditions. This request to the NIH will complement acquisition of separately acquired thermoneutral experimental equipment to be consolidated in two adjacent rooms, but not part of this funding request. The completed suite will elevate DLAR’s research-supporting operations for NIH-funded investigators who studies require access to three Power Scientific Inc. model RIS70SD rodent experimental chambers to support behavioral studies and four Actimetrics Clocklab Chambers suitable for performing circadian studies, one of which is already in place. The HKRB vivarium is a modern, high-end facility. This facilities upgrade will enable new research efficiencies and provide enhanced rigor to researchers whose study objectives require carefully calibrated environmental conditions through an integrated research support operation. Addressing this need for cutting-edge mobile animal housing units will impact diverse NIH-funded studies spanning cardiac arrythmias, vascular dementia and neurodegeneration, skeletal muscle hypertrophy, metabolic disease, fetal programming, and more to produce more rigorous study outcomes. These areas represent some of UK’s most prominent areas of research activity conducted by a highly productive and collaborative faculty.
Effective start/end date7/15/237/14/24


  • Office of the Director: $182,143.00


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