[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Heart failure is a critical condition that affects many people and often results from left ventricular dysfunction. Numerous studies investigating this condition have been performed using various model systems. To do so, investigators must be able to accurately measure myocardial performance in order to determine the degree of left ventricular function. In this model development study, we employ a wireless telemetry system purchased from Data Sciences International to continuously assess left ventricular function in the rabbit model.
We surgically implanted pressure-sensitive catheters fitted to wireless radio-transmitters into the left ventricle of Dutch-belted rabbits. Following recovery of the animals, we continuously recorded indices of cardiac contractility and ventricular relaxation at baseline for a given time period. The telemetry system allowed us to continuously record baseline left ventricular parameters for the entire recording period. During this time, the animals were unrestrained and fully conscious. The values we recorded are similar to those obtained using other reported methods.
The wireless telemetry system can continuously measure left ventricular pressure, cardiac contractility, and cardiac relaxation in the rabbit model. These results, which were obtained just as baseline levels, substantiate the need for further validation in this model system of left ventricular assessment.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Anthrax lethal toxin (LeTx) and edema toxin (EdTx) have been shown to alter hemodynamics in the rodent model, while LeTx primarily is reported to induce extensive tissue pathology. However, the rodent model has limitations when used for comparison to higher organisms such as humans. The rabbit model, on the other hand, has gained recognition as a useful model for studying anthrax infection and its pathophysiological effects. In this study, we assessed the hemodynamic effects of lethal toxin (LeTx) and edema toxin (EdTx) in the rabbit model using physiologically relevant amounts of the toxins. Moreover, we further examine the pathological effects of LeTx on cardiac tissue. We intravenously injected Dutch-belted rabbits with either low-dose and high-dose recombinant LeTx or a single dose of EdTx. The animals' heart rate and mean arterial pressure were continuously monitored via telemetry until either 48 or 72 h post-challenge. Additional animals challenged with LeTx were used for cardiac troponin I (cTnI) quantitation, cardiac histopathology, and echocardiography. LeTx depressed heart rate at the lower dose and mean arterial pressure (MAP) at the higher dose. EdTx, on the other hand, temporarily intensified heart rate while lowering MAP. Both doses of LeTx caused cardiac pathology with the higher dose having a more profound effect. Lastly, left-ventricular dilation due to LeTx was not apparent at the given time-points. Our study demonstrates the hemodynamic effects of anthrax toxins, as well as the pathological effects of LeTx on the heart in the rabbit model, and it provides further evidence for the toxins' direct impact on the heart.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Successful treatment of inhalation anthrax, pneumonic plague and tularemia can be achieved with fluoroquinolone antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin, and initiation of treatment is most effective when administered as soon as possible following exposure. Bacillus anthracis Ames, Yersinia pestis CO92, and Francisella tularensis SCHU S4 have equivalent susceptibility in vitro to ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin (minimal inhibitory concentration is 0.03 μg/ml); however, limited information is available regarding in vivo susceptibility of these infectious agents to the fluoroquinolone antibiotics in small animal models. Mice, guinea pig, and rabbit models have been developed to evaluate the protective efficacy of antibiotic therapy against these life-threatening infections. Our results indicated that doses of ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin required to protect mice against inhalation anthrax were approximately 18-fold higher than the doses of levofloxacin required to protect against pneumonic plague and tularemia. Further, the critical period following aerosol exposure of mice to either B. anthracis spores or Y. pestis was 24 h, while mice challenged with F. tularensis could be effectively protected when treatment was delayed for as long as 72 h postchallenge. In addition, it was apparent that prolonged antibiotic treatment was important in the effective treatment of inhalation anthrax in mice, but short-term treatment of mice with pneumonic plague or tularemia infections were usually successful. These results provide effective antibiotic dosages in mice, guinea pigs, and rabbits and lay the foundation for the development and evaluation of combinational treatment modalities.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a category A priority pathogen that causes extensive damage in humans. For this reason, B. anthracis has been the focus of numerous studies using various animal models. In this study, we explored physiologic parameters in Dutch belted rabbits with inhalation anthrax to characterize the disease progression in this model. To this end, we infected Dutch belted rabbits with 100 LD(50) B. anthracis Ames spores by nasal instillation and continuously recorded various physiologic parameters by using telemetry. In addition, samples were collected at selected times for serum chemistry, hematology, and blood gas analysis. The animals exhibited hemodynamic and respiratory changes that coincided with those reported in human cases of inhalational anthrax infection, including hypotension, altered heart rate, and respiratory distress. Likewise, hematology, serum chemistry, and blood gas analysis revealed trends comparable to human anthrax-related pathophysiology. The Dutch belted rabbit model of inhalational anthrax exhibited most of the physiologic, hematologic, and biochemical sequelae noted in human cases. Therefore, this rabbit model fulfills several of the criteria of a useful animal model for studying disease pathogenesis and evaluating therapeutics during inhalational anthrax.
Comparative medicine 07/2009; 59(3):257-65. · 1.12 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bacillus anthracis is the Gram-positive, spore-forming etiological agent of anthrax, an affliction studied because of its importance as a potential bioweapon. Although in vitro transcriptional responses of macrophages to either spore or anthrax toxins have been previously reported, little is known regarding the impact of infection on gene expression in host tissues. We infected Swiss-Webster mice intranasally with 5 LD(50) of B. anthracis-virulent Ames spores and observed the global transcriptional profiles of various tissues over a 48 h time period. RNA was extracted from spleen, lung, and heart tissues of infected and control mice and examined by Affymetrix GeneChip analysis. Approximately 580 host genes were significantly over or under expressed among the lung, spleen, and heart tissues at 8 and 48 h time points. Expression of genes encoding for surfactant and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) presentation was diminished during the early phase of infection in lungs. By 48 h, a significant number of genes were modulated in the heart, including up-regulation of calcium-binding-related gene expression, and down-regulation of multiple genes related to cell adhesion, formation of the extracellular matrix, and the cell cytoskeleton. Interestingly, the spleen 8h post-infection showed striking increases in the expression of genes that encode hydrolytic enzymes, and these levels remained elevated throughout infection. Further, genes involving antigen presentation and interferon responses were down-regulated in the spleen at 8 h. In late stages of infection, splenic genes related to the inflammatory response were up-regulated. This study is the first to describe the in vivo global transcriptional response of multiple organs during inhalational anthrax. Although numerous genes related to the host immunological response and certain protection mechanisms were up-regulated in these organs, a vast list of genes important for fully developing and maintaining this response were decreased. Additionally, the lung, spleen, and heart showed differential responses to the infection, further validating the demand for a better understanding of anthrax pathogenesis in order to design therapies against novel targets.