Transgenic Animal Facility

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The Transgenic Animal Core Facility (TACF) at West Virginia University is a fee-for-service facility that is housed within the specific pathogen-free (SPF) barrier in the animal quarters at the WVU Health Sciences Center. Our services within the TACF are available to investigators at WVU, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute. The services currently include 1) pronuclear injection of DNA fragments into mouse embryos for producing transgenic animals; 2) mouse embryonic stem cell injections into developing blastocysts for chimera production; and 3) rederivation of infected strains. We will soon implement embryo and germ cell cryopreservation into our available services.

The barrier facility became operational in January 2004 for housing SPF animals and producing genetically modified animals. The current space occupies approximately 2500 square feet of space, including three animal holding rooms (two mouse and one rat), one procedure room, a transgenic production lab facility, a locker room/changing area, and a general operations/autoclave area. We have the capacity to house upwards of 1850 ventilated cages in the barrier facility. Major equipment includes a stereomicroscope for animal surgery and embryo manipulation, inverted microscope with Nomarski optics for DNA and ES cell injection, Sutter micropipette puller, Isoflurane anesthesia delivery system, CO2 incubators, laminar flow hood, gel electrophoresis apparatus, controlled-rate freezer, liquid nitrogen cell storage tank, Eppendorf micromanipulators and a FemtoJet pressure injection system. 

We again increased the number of transgenic founders produced by the facility over the past year, due to an increasing demand by newly recruited faculty. The current investigators are faculty in the Departments of Biochemistry, Exercise Physiology, Neurobiology and Anatomy, Ophthalmology, and Otolaryngology. The Cancer Center, the Sensory Neuroscience Research Center and the Center for Cardiovascular and Respiratory Research are also represented by these investigators. Based on a recent survey of interested investigators and known transgenic/barrier users, we have identified at least 18 investigators at WVU who express a strong to moderate interest in either the transgenic core facility and/or the SPF barrier.