High quality histopathology analysis is standard for all our IBD service models. In addition, Epistem offer a wide range of analytical services that allow Sponsors to acquire quantitative experimental data for a variety of disease-relevant end-points. Such data may help in optimising dosing regimens for therapeutic agents and can potentially identify earlier end-points in colitis development that can be used to index efficacy and reduce study time.
Profiling changes in peripheral blood leukocytes
Whole blood can be obtained at regular intervals during chronic colitis studies and can be useful for monitoring disease/treatment-related changes in number and proportion of the different leukocyte sub-populations in the peripheral circulation.
FACS analysis of leukocytes isolated from the intestine, spleen and lymph nodes
FACS analysis of the differential expression of surface markers and both intracellular and secreted proteins can be used to define the phenotypes of isolated cell populations, which can be useful for target validation, optimisation of dosing regimens for therapeutic agents and monitoring disease development and the efficacy of experimental therapeutics.
Multiplex cytokine analysis in intestinal lysates and serum/plasma
Serum/plasma, whole-tissue lysates and culture medium from ex vivo cultures can be used for multiplex cytokine analysis. In IBD models, levels of cytokine measureable in tissue lysates may be up to x10 higher than those observed in serum/plasma samples. The up-regulation of specific cytokines is associated with colitis development in the models, and treatment effects with therapeutic agents can be demonstrated.
Gene expression services
Whole tissues and isolated cells can also be processed using Epistem’s proprietary methods for analysis of gene expression. Epistem offers a wide range of services for this purpose including microarray analysis, NGS and qPCR; a full data analysis package can also be included. Laser Capture Microdissection is available for more specific analysis of whole tissues, which can allow the user to contrast the expression of inflammatory markers in adjacent “normal” and “diseased” areas.