Cardiovascular Screen

Coordinator:    Prof. Dr.Hugo A. Katus
Institution: Abt. Innere Medizin III, Universität Heidelberg
Engineered mouse models are essential tools for cardiovascular research because they facilitate studies of the phenotypic consequences of targeted or random genetic alterations in a large-scale fashion. In cooperation with the IG "Genetics of Heart Failure" (Prof. A. Katus, Prof. R. Bekeredjian, Heidelberg) a cardiovascular screen was established to investigate such mouse models in large quantities in the German Mouse Clinic. The study program includes non-invasive blood pressure monitoring, echocardiography and electrocardiography. All tests are performed on awake mice to avoid possible adverse effects on the cardiovascular system caused by anesthetics. In more than 30 lines cardiac phenotypes with various symptom (e.g. age hypertension, bradycardia, hypertrophy, dilated cardiomyopathy) were uncovered from various disease models (e.g. Bartter syndrome, hypothyroidism, osteogenesis imperfecta, tetralogy of Fallot). Furthermore, ageing-related effects on the cardiovascular system, development of the athlete´s heart or the effects of diets were examined.
Blood pressure measurement using tail cuffs: The non-invasive analysis measures the peripheral blood pressure in conscious mice by use of a tail-cuff inflation system. Systolic, diastolic and mean arterial pressure are determined over a 4-day period to comprise the natural variability of the blood pressure.

High frequency ultrasound biomicroscopy: This high resolution echocardiography allows in vivo assessment of structural and functional dysfunctions. The M-Mode (time motion) analysis displays the movement of tissue structures over time providing information about contractility, ventricle diameter and wall thickness. Up left: heart in a long axes view (B-Mode); Up right: short axes view of a heart (M-Mode); Down: analysis of left ventricular dimensions.

Additional relevant Internet links:
The German Mouse Clinic
Further Coordinators:
INTRANET (Members login)