Prior to designing any study which utilizes animals, one should decide whether alternatives to intact animal usage (tissue culture systems or mathematical models) will provide acceptable results. Otherwise, a careful consideration should be made to select the correct animal species, the genotypic background, microbial status and numbers of such animals needed. There are two aspects that can help us assess the matching between a prospective model species and its intended target, analogy (similar structures imply similar functions), and homology (structures derived from the same evolutionary precursor have the same or similar functions) (Davidson et al., Isr J Med Sci. 1987, 23(6):551-5 ; Bolker Brain Behav Evol. 2019;93(2-3):82-91).
Selection of animal models for research requires that we balance many considerations, including tractability and cost, how well the model represents its target, and the likelihood that findings in the model will translate into general understanding and/or clinical applications. Davidson et al (1987) described several points to take into consideration: 1) appropriateness as an analogue, 2) transferability of information, 3) genetic uniformity of organisms, where applicable, 4) background knowledge of biological properties, 5) cost and availability, 6) generalizability of the results, 7) ease of and adaptability to experimental manipulation, 8) ecological consequences, and 9) ethical implications.
Selection criteria also include customary practice within a particular discipline, the existence of diseases or conditions that might complicate results, the scientific question to address and available knowledge, and special features of the animal, such as unique responses or microflora, that may make a particular species useful.
Celphedia centers offer a wide range of model organisms to understand the natural behaviour and to help research in biology that is intended to translate into clinical benefits for humans, including spontaneous or natural models, genetic models, environmental or other experimental models.
Mouse and Rat : Anexplo/Genotoul, AniRA (Ani-Rhone-Alpes), Chronobiotron, Phenomin-Ciphe (Immunophenomic center), Phenomin-ICS (Mouse Clinical Institute), Phenomin-TAAM (Typing and Archiving of Animal Models), TRIP (Transgenic Rats Immunophenomic Platform), TACGene
Nocturnal rodents (Golden hamster, Siberian hamster, European hamster): Chronobiotron
Diurnal rodents (Arvicantis ansorgei, Psammomys obesus): Chronobiotron
Research with non-human primates is limited and concerns only projects requiring animal models with closer phylogenetic relationships and physiologic similarities to humans. It includes ethological non-invasive observations in order to understand their natural behaviour and translational research that aims understanding human biological functions, their pathologies, and provisions of services for biomedical research to help developing new therapies.