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Helping east meet west. Review of animal models Assessing the scope of their use in biomedical research edited by Junichi Kawamata and Edward C. Melby Jr. New York Alan R. Liss Inc. 1987 398 pp $65

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American Journal of Primatology 17:179-180 (1989)
Helping East Meet West
Review of Animal Models: Assessing the Scope of Their Use in Biomedical Research,
edited by Junichi Kawamata and Edward C. Melby, Jr. New York, Alan R. Liss, Inc.,
1987, 398 pp, $65.00.
To evaluate this publication fairly, the reader must realize that the document
is not a collection of articles written for a peer-reviewed journal but rather a
reproduction of Proceedings of the Sixth Charles River International Symposium
on Laboratory Animals, Kyoto, Japan, 1985. I am sure that liaison was difficult
since Japanese contributions outnumbered U S . contributors two to one. I think
the editors’ priorities are the rapid dissemination of information in the field of
animal model use in biomedical research and encouraging more extensive information exchange between veterinary and other biomedical scientists. Even then, it
took 2 years to get these presentations into print. Narrative in the text qualifies
the effort as a review of recent developments a t the time of the symposium and an
overview of relevant issues. With these objectives and qualifiers in mind, I think
some of the weaknesses of the volume can be overlooked. As a whole, it certainly
represents a valuable contemporary update and reference document for laboratory
animal veterinary personnel who have to be broadly conversant in animal model
selection and care and for investigators in numerous biomedical research disciplines, especially autoimmune disease and genetics. It exemplifies the meeting
sponsors’ and editors’ commitment to expanding the benefits of continuing education through scientific collaboration and information exchange at the international level.
Apparently, the editors went through no selection process on the papers, and in
this reviewer’s opinion, the quality of the 22 presentations varied between very
good and poor. Although the diversity of disciplines addressed adequately reinforces the “important role whole animal models play in modern research,” there is
very little sense of organization or continuity. The question-and-answer sessions
would have been much more “interesting, informative and thought-provoking’’ to
the reader if these sessions had followed the individual chapters or a t least a small
group of related papers, instead of being compiled into a chapter at the end of the
volume. The typographical errors in text and tables are annoyingly frequent.
Although considerable attention was given t o genetic quality assurance in
many of the rodent model presentations, the importance of health quality assurance was not emphasized as strongly. Ueyama and Ikehara acknowledged the
specific-pathogen-freestatus of their animals; however, in some cases there was no
description of the status of adventitious pathogens or of precautions to maintain a
microbially defined animal model. Even when the “Materials and Methods” section
acknowledged original source and macroenvironmental control, in at least one
instance there was reference to supplemental feeding of “proper fresh vegetables,
powdered milk, and sardines,” which would seem to make microbial control very
difficult. A recent study by Oldstone [1988] provides an excellent example of the
01989 Alan R. Liss, Inc.
180 / Keeling
importance of clearly stating health quality and assurance procedures in any study
employing an animal model. Oldstone demonstrated that mouse lymphocytic
choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), a natural pathogen of mice, could prevent the
autoimmune response leading to diabetes through a mechanism of immunosuppression. This finding may have major impact upon prior publications concerning
the rodent model of autoimmune insulitis-associated diabetes. Each publication
should describe the procedures used to define and monitor the health quality of any
animal model. I am sure that Dr. Kawamata’s closing remarks concerning “the use
of well-defined animal models” included health quality assurance.
Concerning the strengths of the volume, Stone et al. provide an update of
relevant nonhuman primate models as the “step to man” but are careful to
acknowledge the paradox of significant commonality yet pronounced differences in
the nonhuman primate model. Kyogoku et al. effectively uses a number of graphic
illustrations to provide an overview of the complex immunpathological mechanisms in the murine lupus model. Ikehara et al. employ immunohistochemical
techniques to demonstrate the etiopathogenesis of autoimmune disease in the
mouse. Waegell et al. address some of the recently developed controversial and
confusing hypotheses explaining the pathogenesis of autoimmune disease in New
Zealand (NZ) mice through observations on hereditarily asplenic NZ mice and a
number of congenital mutants. Nomoto presents a brief but informative summary
of host defense in the mouse accompanied by a good list of references. Lovenberg
reviews animal models currently used for hypertension research, acknowledging
that the molecular basis for the pathogenic mechanisms of hypertension are still
unknown. An excellent summary of degenerative neurological disease animal
models by Cork et al. includes a prescription for future directions and an extensive
reference list. The closing chapter by Nomura et al. is devoted to perspectives on
new animal model development through genetic manipulation. It provides a brief
introduction to transgenic mice and the tremendous potential this discipline has
for major contributions to comparative biomedical research.
Michale E. Keeling
Veterinary Resources Division
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Science Park
Oldstone, M.B.A. Prevention of type I diabetes in nonobese diabeticmice by virus infection. SCIENCE 239500402, 1988
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