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Imaging in Small Rodents in the Context of Pharmacological Research: Significance of the 3R Principles

Obrecht, Michael, Zurbruegg, Stefan, Accart Gris, Nathalie, Lambert, Christian, Doelemeyer, Arno, Ledermann, Birgit and Beckmann, Nicolau (2023) Imaging in Small Rodents in the Context of Pharmacological Research: Significance of the 3R Principles. Frontiers in pharmacology, 14. p. 1177421. ISSN 10.3389/fphar.2023.1177421


Minimising potential pain and distress as well as the number of animals in biomedical experimentation and in the drug discovery and development process is not only an ethical imperative but also a challenging and evolving area of research. Non-invasive imaging can refine in vivo experimentation by using alternative readouts which represent early disease state or adverse drug effects and which allow harmful progress to be detected. This in contrast to animals being sacrificed at given time points and using artificial peri- or post-mortem endpoints. In many instances non-invasive imaging may replace pathohistological assessment of disease progression with anatomic and functional readouts. Furthermore, the number of animals can be substantially reduced by using each animal as its own control, thereby improving statistical power and information that may relate better to that observed in the clinical assessment of therapy efficacy. Taking as basis some of our own activities in the area of preclinical pharmacological research, we illustrate how imaging can contribute to the principles of humane experimental techniques outlined by Russell and Burch in 1959 in their publication about “The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique”.

Item Type: Article
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2023 00:45
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2023 00:45