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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Science Policy

One Universal Common Endpoint in Mouse Models of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Published: Wednesday, June 08, 2011
Author: Jesse A. Solomon et al.

by Jesse A. Solomon, Mark A. Tarnopolsky, Mazen J. Hamadeh

There is no consensus among research laboratories around the world on the criteria that define endpoint in studies involving rodent models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Data from 4 nutrition intervention studies using 162 G93A mice, a model of ALS, were analyzed to determine if differences exist between the following endpoint criteria: CS 4 (functional paralysis of both hindlimbs), CS 4+ (CS 4 in addition to the earliest age of body weight loss, body condition deterioration or righting reflex), and CS 5 (CS 4 plus righting reflex >20 s). The age (d; mean ± SD) at which mice reached endpoint was recorded as the unit of measurement. Mice reached CS 4 at 123.9±10.3 d, CS 4+ at 126.6±9.8 d and CS 5 at 127.6±9.8 d, all significantly different from each other (P<0.001). There was a significant positive correlation between CS 4 and CS 5 (r?=?0.95, P<0.001), CS 4 and CS 4+ (r?=?0.96, P<0.001), and CS 4+ and CS 5 (r?=?0.98, P<0.001), with the Bland-Altman plot showing an acceptable bias between all endpoints. Logrank tests showed that mice reached CS 4 24% and 34% faster than CS 4+ (P?=?0.046) and CS 5 (P?=?0.006), respectively. Adopting CS 4 as endpoint would spare a mouse an average of 4 days (P<0.001) from further neuromuscular disability and poor quality of life compared to CS 5. Alternatively, CS 5 provides information regarding proprioception and severe motor neuron death, both could be important parameters in establishing the efficacy of specific treatments. Converging ethics and discovery, would adopting CS 4 as endpoint compromise the acquisition of insight about the effects of interventions in animal models of ALS?