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Animal Models of ME/CFS

Discussion in 'Other research methodology topics' started by Simone, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. Simone

    Simone Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I’m wondering if anyone is aware of any appropriate mouse models of ME/CFS?

    I’m familiar with the Japanese model of putting the mice/rats in a layer of water, but that’s really a model of chronic stress, not ME/CFS.

    Are there any others?
     
  2. borko2100

    borko2100 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Don't know. But I am surprised that there aren't more animal studies. If there's a way to diagnose the animals, then it should be possible to do experimental studies.

    Surely, doing an experimental study with a dangerous drug, that requires a long complicated treatment (e.g. rituximab), would be magnitudes easier and faster if the test subjects were animals. The lack of regulations and formalized processes would speed things up a lot.

    The most likely reason why this is not done is probably because it is very difficult to diagnose the animals, let alone determine if symptoms improve or become worse. Obviously giving a symptom questionnaire to an animal wouldn't work. Once we have a true diagnostic marker or test though, this would be much more feasible. Yet another reason why development of sensitive and specific diagnosic tests should be a priority for researchers.
     
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  3. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    The big problem, apart from mouse models not always being relevant to humans as their biology has differences, is how to induce ME in them, if that's possible. You can't just breed thousands of mice and hope some of them start behaving differently and assume it's ME.

    So you would presumably have to try to mimic the triggers of ME in humans, perhaps give them an infection or a series of infections and make them exercise while they are sick instead of resting. And then pick out the ones that seem to stay sick after the others recover. And do a 2 day CPET with them and measure lactate levels perhaps, or give them a Chalder Fatigue Questionnaire to fill in. ;)

    It all sounds so improbably ridiculous, it seems silly to even try.
     
  4. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Nope. I set up the use of rituximab for autoimmunity and I went nowhere near an animal model. There was no point because there are no animal models of spontaneous human autoimmunity of much use. There are none for rheumatoid arthritis. Animals are very useful for working out normal physiology. But disease physiology tends to be unique to a species. We had to work out what was going in humans using humans. Many thousands of animal experiments had been done but none were of any help to me.
     
  5. Simone

    Simone Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    That was my thought too, that it seems so complicated to determine that they have something akin to ME/CFS.
     
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  6. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    The possibility exists that I may not be a mouse.

    Surely testing needs to occur to establish this before using mouse models.

    I am not sure how you could blind such a study.
     
  7. Simone

    Simone Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Hmm, that’s useful feedback. This query has come from a researcher outside ME/CFS (looking at a different condition), wondering if there are useful mouse models of ME/CFS to which they could apply their work (also done in mice).
     
  8. Simone

    Simone Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    :laugh:
     
  9. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    No problem. Do it in triplicate. Then biopsy.
     
  10. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    My advice is only to use animals to study the normal rules of physiology and physiological responses. If you want to study causation of disease they are pretty much valueless.
     
  11. James Morris-Lent

    James Morris-Lent Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    We'll just inject you with something so that you won't be able to tell either way. Now hold still.

    RelaxRelaxRelax,
    Just a little pinprick...
     
  12. adambeyoncelowe

    adambeyoncelowe Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I'm just picturing mice being given interferon, and being quizzed on how depressed they are!
     
  13. feeb

    feeb Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Squeak once for "much better", squeak twice for "very much better"...
     
  14. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    It makes me wonder, have there been any animal models of disease that have actually led to effective treatments in humans? I'm guessing the list is quite short?
     
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  15. Alvin

    Alvin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Only a possibility?
    That would explain why your up at 3am, mice are nocturnal.
     
  16. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I am not an expert on mice, therefore I cannot be certain what is, and is not, a mouse.

    And people keep saying that a mouse model is an appropriate one for studying ME, I have ME, therefore the possibility exists that I may be a mouse.

    They are after all experts, and I am not.
     
  17. Forbin

    Forbin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    As a first step, it might be best to use machine learning to create a highly accurate computer model of a mouse.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    There are some important ones, and sometimes they are surprising.

    An obvious one is the 'animal model' of bone marrow radiation damage. The damaging effects of radiation in humans were modelled in animals and a huge amount of information gathered. The treatment is to avoid radiation above a reasonably acceptable minimum risk.

    There are also some exceptions in immunology. Rats were made transgenic for the human HLA-B27 gene and developed an illness like human ankylosing spondylitis, showing that the gene did indeed cause the illness. But no treatments really depend on this.

    Ibuprofen was developed using animal models of inflammation but the models were never models of what caused the inflammation in humans, more models of the normal response to injury.
     
  19. wigglethemouse

    wigglethemouse Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Did someone say Mouse? Did you call me? Please don't experiment on me!!!!!!
    @Simone the closest I can think of is Gulf War Illness which presents clinically very similar to ME/CFS and where the disease trigger is known. They have injected mice with the same "cocktail" that the 1990 Gulf War troops received and have observed similar illness behaviours. Something for your researcher contact to look into.

    I believe one of the ingredients in the cocktail was mestinon, a drug that Systrom is trialing in ME. Of course there were others more toxic, but the combination from the cocktail likely caused multiple immune and CNS "hits" at the same time. It is thought that one third of folks sent to the 1990 Gulf War are now sick ~ 250,000 folks.
     
  20. Alvin

    Alvin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    All this being true if i were you i would not admit to being a mouse. Ending up in a laboratory and being subjected to forced experimentation would not be pleasant.
     

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