Comparative analysis and physiological impact of different tissue biopsy methodologies used for the genotyping of laboratory mice

Genotyping of genetically modified mice and control of authenticity of the genetic background of congenic or coisogenic strains by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a routine procedure that can be performed with different tissue biopsies causing variable grades of trauma. In this study, some invasive and non-invasive sampling methods were compared, with the main focus on the impact on animal physiology. A comparison of ear punch, tail biopsy, hair plugging, mouth and rectum swabs was carried out and the simple restraint of the animals, scoring for the impact on heart rate (HR), core body temperature (BT) and motor activity by telemetry, during biopsy and for the following 6 h. Furthermore, in order to correlate the physiological impact with the practicability and reliability of the genotyping results, a PCR analysis of the biopsy samples obtained by using the same collection procedures analysed by telemetry was performed. All sampling methods and restraint induced significant increase in HR and BT and a slight increase in motor activity for 1 h, independent of the invasiveness of the method used. Genotyping of all biopsies allowed the proper identification of transgenic animals, tail biopsies, ear punches and hair follicles giving clear signals, the last method being fast, but also susceptible to cross contaminations during sampling by large numbers of animals. Restraint and all biopsy methods provoked similar physiological changes, indicating that the handling of the animals is of major importance and that the sampling procedure does not strongly influence the physiological parameters.

Read full article here.