The Panlab spatial place preference box is an experimental chamber developed with the aim to optimise place preference and aversion studies in small laboratory animals, especially mice. The design of the box is fruit of a close collaboration with eminent Professor Dr. Rafael Maldonado and Dr. Olga Valverde from the Laboratory of Neuropharmacology in Barcelona (Spain).
The apparatus consists in a box with two equally sized compartments interconnected by a rectangular corridor. Originally, the compartments are differentiated by the motifs painted on the walls (dots or stripes) and the colour (different shade of grey tones, light or dark) and texture (smooth or rough) of the floor. The innovation brought by the Panlab box is the possibility to combine a new additional spatial dimension to allow the animal differentiate the different compartments in a more discriminative manner. Transparent walls are also used to minimize the time the animal spent in the corridor.
The introduction of these new discriminative elements allows:
The Panlab spatial place preference box can be associated with the weight transducer technology (and PPC win software) or video-tracking system (SMART software) for detection and analysis of animal position throughout the test.
Panlab Place Preference Box is a standard experimental chamber for automated assessment of conditioned place preference and aversion in rodents, two tests widely used for screening the reinforcing properties of drugs (or natural stimuli) as well as for investigating the brain neurobiological systems implicated in reward and addiction.
The experimental box consists of two Perspex compartments of the same size interconnected by a central grey corridor. The compartments can be differentiated by both visual and tactile cues: the colour of the walls in each compartment (white or black) and the texture of the floors (smooth or rough). The box is provided with transparent frontal walls which may be covered with extractable opaque covers (included). Manually operated sliding doors are provided to manage the access to the two compartments from the corridor.
The experimental box can be supplied with or without automatic animal position detection system. The automated animal position detection can be carried out by a weight transducer system which is associated to the PC-based control software PPCWIN or by the SMART video-tracking system.
Panlab also proposes another place preference box - spatial place preference box (see related products) - with optimised design for compartment differentiation without the possible bias introduced by the black and white colour of the compartment of the present box.
PPCWIN is an easy-to-use and complete software for monitoring Conditioned Place Preference (or aversion) tests and Black and White experiments (for anxiety). It has been specially designed to work with the Panlab Automated Place Preference and Black and White boxes equipped with weight transducers for the automatic detection of animal position.
PPCWIN controls independently up to 8 experimental chambers. The system includes a test mode enabling immediate and reliable checking of the communication between the software and the experimental chambers.
The Place Preference and Black and White boxes are basically divided in two different compartments connected by a grey corridor/door, respectively. One experiment can be composed of several sessions, depending on the number of experimental groups and animals per group used in the study. PPCWIN is easy to configure as the user only needs to enter the desired duration of experiment and some specific information about the session (subject name, group…). During data acquisition, information about protocol state, animal position and current data can be visualized for each cage on the corresponding control window.
PPCWIN provides a raw data table with all the standard parameters for conditioned place preference and black and white experiments (permanence time in the compartments, number of entries…) and a detailed chronological sequence of animal displacements for each session. A report table can be generated containing the results from different stored session. Data from the tables of result can be easily exported in formats widely used to perform complementary analysis.
Panlab restrainers for rodents are manufactured from Perspex cylinders mounted on a flat black Perspex base. All the models have free access through both extremes, by opening the respective tilting door that is fixed by a screw at the upper part of the restrainer.
Animals can be immobilised by sliding the doors along the restrainer. A slot in the base of the door allows for the whole tail to be available for the pulse transducer and cuff installation, the i.v. drug administration or the blood extraction.
Specially designed restrainers for startle reflex experiments are built on an opened base for allowing free animal contact with the grid and then providing shocks. Additional screws are available for a strong fixation of the restrainer on the grid avoiding any displacement due to the animal movements during the experiment.
The easy operation of the doors and its disposition on the extremes of the restrainer makes the manipulation of the animal convenient and avoids the animal to be dragged backwards, protecting it from injuries in the feet.
Available in 6 different sizes, the restrainers cover all the range of rat & mice.
Forced immobilization is commonly used as a model of stress in small laboratory animals, especially for producing psychological stress. In this context, the Panlab IMMO BOARD is an adaptation of the standard immobilization board used in neuroendocrinological and behavioural studies in rats and mice (Kvetnansky and Mikulaj, 1970; Chesnokova et al, 1998; Golub et al, 2004).
The IMMO BOARD consists in a central board made with non-porous (odour-resistant) material provided with 4 movable arms for animal paws fixation. The fixation of the paws is obtained through the use of adhesive tape. The animal whole body is gently maintained in place using a velcro ribbon. Four paws insure the stability of the board and makes easier to passage of the ribbon all around the structure for getting optimal animal immobilization.
The new design* proposed aims to solve all the reported problems associated with the use of the common immobilization boards existing in the field making the IMMO BOARD an attractive alternative to procedures using standard cylindrical restrainers: unmatched quality provided for animal restraint (avoid animal lesion and escaping), enhance the quality of the psychological component of stress obtained and get optimal homogeneity and reproducibility in the results.
* developed with the collaboration of the Centre of Genomic Regulation (CRG - Mara Dierssen group) and the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB - Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona - Antonio Armario group)
The rodent Activity Wheel represents a very simple and clever way to register animal physical activity in its home cage environment.
The use of this high throughput tool is particularly relevant for research involving circadian rhythms, phenotyping and drug testing.
Basically the animals are housed individually in the home cages equipped with the running wheel. The total number of wheel rotation made by the animal is displayed on the external LE907 individual counter or LE3806 multicounter devices.
LE3806 multicounter allows storing the data in userdefined time intervals. The data can be visualized directly from the multicounter display and/or exported to the SeDaCom PC interface (through RS 232 serial port) in a format compatible with Excel. The new SEDACOM 2.0 version (not included with the LE3806 multicounter) provides an easy and convenient way to visualize and export the data (number of total rotations by user-defined interval of time) on a computer for further analysis.
All the components of the wheel assembly (wheel, wheel hub and support) are made of stainless steel and are used with standard ACE (Allentown Caging Equipment) polycarbonate rodent cages provided with its wire lid. The wheel is built outside the home cage to preserve animal life space.
All non-electrical cage components are autoclavable.
The social interaction test by pairs provides a popular and standard paradigm to study general social behavior.
This test allows the experimental subject to freely explore an unfamiliar congener in its home cage or in a neutral environment. Social exploration is measured by the time spent by the experimental subject around the congener as well as the amount and duration of behaviors that compose social interaction (e.g. sniffing, following, grooming, biting, mounting, wrestling, etc). Social avoidance behavior is used in a wide variety of models, for instance for assessing neophobia anxiety and depression-like behaviors.
Our social box provides an ideal experimental environment to conduct social interaction tasks. The box is divided in three interconnected compartments. Sliding doors are available for confining the animal in one specific compartment during the test. In standard experiments, two grid enclosures containing “stranger” animals are placed in the box allowing a close interaction with the animal tested (as well as protection in case one of them manifests strong aggressive behavior).
Two models are availables for rats and mice. All our model are now compatible with experiments using tethered animals.
The automated TST system for the tail suspension test allows a fast and reliable screening of the psychotropic properties (anti-depressants, sedatives) of drugs.
Basically, the measuring principle is based on the energy developed by mice trying to escape from their suspension. During the test, the movements of the mice are analysed in terms of force, energy and power developed over time.
The automated tail suspension system includes the suspension cages (3 mice per cage) and a user-friendly software to run, record, analyse and replay the experiments.
The results are either printed or stored in .txt or.xls files formats.
The Y maze is commonly used for assessing spatial working memory in rats and mice, especially for spontaneous alternation tasks.
The tasks using a Y maze are simple tasks that can be run in both rats and mice. The mazes are made of non-reflective and odor resistant material well suited for any video-tracking system. The mazes are provided in a grey color floor, walls and manual sliding doors.
The Panlab Y mazes can be associated with the SMART Video-Tracking Systems for detection and analysis of animal displacements and behavior throughout the test.
The standard zero plus maze is a variation of the elevated plus maze used to assess anxiety-like behavior in small laboratory animals (rat/mice).
In this task, the conflict between the innate fear that rodents have of open areas versus their desire to explore novel environments is exploited. Security is provided by the closed arms whereas the open arms offer exploratory value. When anxious, the natural tendency of rodents is to prefer enclosed dark spaces to opened brightly lit spaces. In this context, anxiety-related behavior is measured by the degree to which the rodent avoids the unenclosed areas of the maze.
The Panlab zero maze is a cycling corridor elevated above the floor and provided with two open areas and two closed areas. The maze is made of odour-resistant black perpex material with no-reflective colour for eliminating any glare.
The elevated zero maze can be used with a video tracking system such as the Panlab SMART video-tracking software. The maze is provided with a set of gray floor for optimizing the detection of darker animals in this context.