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J Vis Exp. 2014 Sep 29;(91):51785. doi: 10.3791/51785.

Behavioral and locomotor measurements using an open field activity monitoring system for skeletal muscle diseases.

Author information

1
Center for Genetic Medicine Research, Children's National Medical Center; KTatem@cnmc.org.
2
Center for Genetic Medicine Research, Children's National Medical Center.
3
Center for Genetic Medicine Research, Children's National Medical Center; Department of Integrative Systems Biology, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Abstract

The open field activity monitoring system comprehensively assesses locomotor and behavioral activity levels of mice. It is a useful tool for assessing locomotive impairment in animal models of neuromuscular disease and efficacy of therapeutic drugs that may improve locomotion and/or muscle function. The open field activity measurement provides a different measure than muscle strength, which is commonly assessed by grip strength measurements. It can also show how drugs may affect other body systems as well when used with additional outcome measures. In addition, measures such as total distance traveled mirror the 6 min walk test, a clinical trial outcome measure. However, open field activity monitoring is also associated with significant challenges: Open field activity measurements vary according to animal strain, age, sex, and circadian rhythm. In addition, room temperature, humidity, lighting, noise, and even odor can affect assessment outcomes. Overall, this manuscript provides a well-tested and standardized open field activity SOP for preclinical trials in animal models of neuromuscular diseases. We provide a discussion of important considerations, typical results, data analysis, and detail the strengths and weaknesses of open field testing. In addition, we provide recommendations for optimal study design when using open field activity in a preclinical trial.

PMID:
25286313
PMCID:
PMC4672952
DOI:
10.3791/51785
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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