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?
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Date Published: 8-June-2011
Author(s): Solomon J., Tarnopolsky M., Hamadeh M.