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University of California Davis

Description Provides tests for metabolism, insulin resistance, glucose balance, energy
balance, eating behavior and cardiovascular phenotyping,
Director / Email K.C. Kent Lloyd, DVM, Ph.D. -
General Contact
Grant Number DK135074
RRID SCR_015357 (Cite This)

Center Cores:

 Center CoreCore DescriptionRRID

Center: University of California Davis; Director: K.C. Kent Lloyd, DVM, Ph.D.

 Animal Care, Surgery, and Pathology CoreThe Core provides extensive scientific support services, including importation/exportation, colony management, customized mouse models, rederivation and creation of genetically-modified mutant mice (e.g. CRISPR), and re-animation of a variety of models cryopreserved within the KOMP or MMRRC repositories. These new and extant mouse models can then be bred to produce male and female cohorts for in vivo and in vitro phenotyping, including rederivation into our Gnotobiotic Mouse Research Center for gut microbiome studies. The Core also operates a Microsurgery Suite, with two expert microsurgeons, for development of surgically-manipulated mouse models, such as bariatric surgical models, e.g. Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG) and Roux en Y Gastric Bypass (RYGB), as well as cannulation telemetry and osmotic pump implants, in addition to providing microsurgery training services for investigators and clinicians. In addition to testing, manipulation, and sampling, investigator can have these surgically-manipulated models as well as any genetically-engineered mouse lines shipped from our approved vendor barrier vivarium directly into the recipient institution’s vivarium. The Core also provides ancillary services and procedures, including blood sampling for in vivo testing for glucose tolerance tests and insulin tolerance tests. We provide pathology analysis to complement other testing including survey necropsy with histology, clinical chemistry and hematology analysis. This testing can be customized to include specific organ histologic examination, grading and photo documentation. The Core is led by Kristin Grimsrud DVM, PhD, who oversees two trained rodent surgical technicians, one import/export coordinator, and two phenotyping technicians, and is co-led by Stephen Griffey DVM, PhD.SCR_015356
 Endocrinology and Metabolism CoreThe Endocrinology and Metabolism Core provides phenotyping services for the assessment of endocrine function and metabolic pathways in mouse models of obesity, diabetes, and related metabolic diseases including dyslipidemia and fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The Core also provides expertise, technical resources, and instrumentation necessary to characterize perturbations in endocrine systems and metabolism in murine models useful for understanding obesity, diabetes, its complications, and related metabolic disorders, including NAFLD. The Core performs assays and data interpretation for in vivo metabolic function tests, including IV, IP and oral glucose tolerance tests and insulin tolerance tests for parameters of insulin sensitivity, insulin secretion and glucose disposal. In addition, the Core offers an extensive list of quality controlled assays of metabolic substrates, endocrine hormones, and indices of renal function, assessments of insulin signaling pathways, inflammation and endoplasmic reticulum stress in metabolically important tissues such as liver, muscle, adipose, pancreas, as well as state-of-the-art metabolomic analysis and interpretation, including complex lipids, phospholipids, bile acids, and biogenic amines using small sample volumes. The Core works closely with the Animal Care Core on projects evaluating the metabolic effects of bariatric surgery, and with the Microbiome Core to coordinate microbiome and metabolomic analyses and interpretation. Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) in conscious unrestrained mice is in development and expected to be offered in the near future. The Core is led by Dr. Peter Havel, DVM, PhD and Co-led by Dr.’s Fawaz Haj, PhD and Oliver Fiehn, PhD. Other Core members include Dr. Mark Huising and Staff Research Associate, James Graham.SCR_015359
 Energy Balance, Exercise & Behavior CoreObesity is the result of an inability to maintain energy balance, and changes in energy balance can also be important contributing factors in the etiology of diabetes and other metabolic diseases. A major goal of Core D is to provide investigators with the services necessary to accurately measure the major components of energy balance (energy intake, energy expenditure, body composition, nutrient digestibility) in their mouse models. Core D also provides tests that allow investigators to examine physiological factors that may influence food intake or energy expenditure. A second focus of Core D is to understand the contribution of physical activity to energy balance as well as the beneficial effects of voluntary exercise or treadmill training on metabolism. Behavior is the third component of Core D, with an array of tests for cognitive and behavioral assessment. Core D investigators have complementary expertise in energy metabolism and exercise/muscle biology to provide clients with assistance in all steps of the research process, from designing experiments to analyzing and interpreting data. In addition to offering standard services in our catalog, Core D also works with investigators to design custom tests or develop new tests to meet their research needs.SCR_015364
 Microbiome & Host Response CoreMission Statement: To provide clients with a prompt and efficient service to determine how the gut microbiota is contributing to the observed metabolic or gut phenotype. Core Description: The gut is the first site of interaction between ingested nutrients and the host, and plays an important role in the regulation of metabolic homeostasis. The products of digestion provide the stimuli for release of hormones and activation of neural pathways crucial to integrate postprandial gut function, food intake and whole body metabolic function. In addition, there is a growing appreciation of the role of the gut microbial populations in health and disease, especially in metabolic disease and obesity. Thus, determination of gut microbiota and gut function is an important component of metabolic phenotyping. The Microbiome & Host Response Core offers methods to survey the important bacterial taxa: • Metagenomics, especially 16S variable region amplicon sequencing, data analysis and interpretation • Multi-variate analysis • Metabolomic approaches to assess microbial function by measuring levels of microbial metabolites. Priorities of the core include reproducibility and reliability; sample preparation, storage, and handling of small sample volumes; gut region and/or time-dependent differences. The Microbiome & Host Response Core offers methods to determine gut function in metabolic phenotypes: • Measurement of gut permeability (Gut permeability: in vivo, ex vivo Ussing chambers and immunohistochemistry and/or expression of tight junction proteins) • Plasma lipopolysaccharide binding protein (LBP) assay • Inflammatory profiling Other services are offered on a custom basis including measurement of gut transit time, gastric emptying and activity in the gut-brain axis. Future services include transcriptomics of the luminal microbiota and gut tissue of the host.SCR_015361
 Administrative CoreThe Administrative Core is responsible for oversight and coordination of all aspects of the scientific and administrative operations of the MMPC-UCD. This includes providing full customer support services, overseeing management and operation of the Center, and foster interactions and synergism among cores and research projects. The ultimate goal of the Core is to ensure that the Center effectively and efficiently delivers services to its users. The Core will achieve this goal by implementing an administrative plan, establishing and executing a service plan, implementing a business plan, ensuring cooperation and complains with the MMPC Consortium, and overseeing implementation of the Microbiome Research Project. In consultation with the Coordinating and Bioinformatics Unit (CBU), the Core uses MMPC-web-based business tools to facilitate client-provider interaction and help maintain Center budgetary and workflow records. The Core is led by the Center Director (Kent Lloyd) and Scientific Director (John Rutledge), and assisted by a Center Administrator (Suzann Wadsworth) and Project Navigator (Renee Araiza). For more information about the MMPC at UC Davis, or to arrange for phenotyping or your mouse line, contact our Project Navigator at


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