Ex vivo / in vitro technical platform
Ex vivo and in vitro assays for myocardial contractility and vascular reactivity evaluation
Our services range from the whole organ to specific isolated cells and enable drug screening, pharmacological and toxicological studies.
- Specific expertise in endothelial dysfunction
- Tailor-made studies
- Scientific consulting
Ex vivo functional measurements of vascular reactivity
We perform assays on isolated vessels to evaluate endothelial function and particularly flow-induced dilation which is used as a barometer for cardiovascular health, efficacy of vasoactive agonists and antagonists, and to quantify the effect of treatment with e.g. ACE-inhibitors, sartans, statines, glitazones, etc.
The Pressure myograph permits the investigation, in e.g mesenteric resistance arteries from mice and rats, of intrinsic (myogenic) responses, the measurement of endothelial vasodilator function as flow mediated dilation (FMD), and the study of pharmacological effects of drugs and other vasoactive compounds.
With this system diameter changes are measured under near physiological conditions of pressure and flow which enable vessels to retain many of their in vivo characteristic.
Organ bath / Myography enables to measure isometric tension in isolated vessels segments from rodents.This system allows determination of the maximal contractile capacity, the integrity of the endothelium, the vascular muscle tone in relation to vasodilators or vasoconstrictors and the endothelium-dependent or -independent relaxation.
- Electrophysiologic and hemodynamic measurements
The perfused isolated heart model helps to screen cardiovascular safety isssues and to characterize antiarrhythmic capabilities of new drug candidates.
The Langendorff heart model involves retrograde perfusion of the ascending aorta, which forces the aortic valve closed and shunts the blood flow via the coronary ostia into to the coronary arteries. Once coronary flow is re-established, the perfused heart is amenable to many different types of analyses over the course of several hours, including: contractile function, cardiac inotropic and chronotropic effects in response to drugs, heart rate, coronary vascular tone, cardiac metabolism, morphology, QT interval length.
- Contractile property of cardiomyocytes
The isolated cardiac myocyte is an important research tool to study calcium transients and contractility and thus to easily detect arrhythmogenesis and positive or negative inotropic effects of test compounds .
The IonOptix system is used to monitor the extent and rate of myocyte shortening / relengthening, and intracellular calcium events during excitation–contraction coupling in response to electrical and / or chemical stimulation of freshly isolated adult ventricular cardiomyocytes.
- Cell culture
Immunoassays such as ELISA, western blot, immunoprecipitation, immunofluorescence on cultured cells help to rapidely identify basal cytotoxicity (apoptosis or cell death) independently of metabolic effects and to characterize cell signaling and downstream events (cell proliferation, protein expression…)
On top of assays on cell lines, we offer primary cell isolation and culture which concern neonatal and adult cardiomyocytes.
- Histology and histopathology
Our services include:
– Trimming, processing, and sectioning of animal tissue and cells
– Preparation of blocks and slides
– Routine and special staining (hematoxylin and eosin stain for recognizing various tissue types and morphologic changes or fluorescent labeling targets specific peptide or protein antigen within the cell/tissue)
– Histological analysis with transmission and scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy (in collaboration with CMEAB platform (Center for Electronic Microscopy Applied to Biology, part of Toulouse Faculty of Medecine)