The Edinburgh Companion Animal Brain Bank - a new resource for cross-translational neurology

Nina Rzechorzek, Mary Flook, Craig Pennycook, Emma Jeffery, Sionagh Smith, Colin Smith, Katia Marioni-Henry

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstractpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Access to high quality brain tissue is critical for understanding disease pathogenesis and to validate novel pre-mortem biomarkers for neurological disorders. An optimal resource would promote cross-translation between human and veterinary neurologists, through comparative clinical and molecular phenotyping. Successful human brain banks continue to expand, yet there is no equivalent archive for veterinary patients. We sought to establish the UK’s first Companion Animal Brain Bank.

Adapting protocols from the MRC Edinburgh Brain Bank, we have developed standardized methods for archiving brain tissue from animals euthanased on welfare grounds. Samples are collected with informed consent and approval of the R(D)SVS Veterinary Ethical Review Committee. Whole brains are evaluated grossly then bisected to provide fresh-frozen and formalin fixed tissue for matched molecular and histopathological readouts respectively. Fixed hemibrains are processed in transverse section and 31 specified brain regions are embedded.

To date, 30 brains have been banked. 11 of these are derived from animals with non-neurological conditions (designated control tissue). Mean canine fresh brain parameters standard error include brain length (rostral tip of the frontal cortex to the caudal tip of cerebellar vermis; 79.0 1.5 mm), brain weight (91.8 3.72 g) and post-mortem interval (28.2 4.7 h). Brain
length and weight correlate with r2 = 0.843.

Our protocols optimise sample quality within the logistics of a referral setting and can be reproduced for multi-centre collaborations or for donation to a central bank. Our objective is to create an online searchable database to facilitate tissue requests for ethically-approved research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1953
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'The Edinburgh Companion Animal Brain Bank - a new resource for cross-translational neurology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this