A series of pre-formulated rat gene expression assays developed by Applied Biosystems could provide a short cut to testing toxicological responses to chemical compounds.
The company said this extension to its real-time Assays-On-Demand range, joining its established human and mouse kits, improves its usefulness, given that the rat is such a commonly used animal for disease research and toxicology studies. Many researchers rely on their own primer and probe designs to conduct this sort of experiment.
The rat assays will in time include probe and primer sets for more than 3,500 genes, with around 1,500 already available. Additional sets will be introduced over the coming months.
The initial release is designed around the transcripts in the US National Center for Biotechnology Information Reference Sequence project (RefSeq) database for rat genes. Applied Biosystems eventually plans to provide assays for nearly all of the genes listed in the rat RefSeq database, as well as for genes that produce drug-metabolising enzymes.