JAX offers a preclinical imiquimod-induced psoriasis mouse model as a cost-effective and rapid screening approach for candidate psoriatic therapies.
Imiquimod (IMQ) is a toll-like receptor agonist that acts as an immune response modifier. Topical application of IMQ to the skin of susceptible BALB/c mice induces inflammation with features commonly found in human psoriatic skin, including erythema and scaling. The advantage of this model over other inducible psoriasis models is the fast induction of clinical phenotypes for rapid therapeutic screening.
The standard preclinical study design uses BALB/cJ females at 6-8 weeks of age. Mice can be scored for clinical parameters of psoriatic disease based on degree of erythema and scaling on a scale of 0-4. Observations will be recorded on Day 0 (baseline; prior to the first IMQ application), and then every other day. On the same days, thickness of the mouse right ear will be measured in the middle of the lesion using calipers.
Mice on study are dosed daily up to 14 days post-induction. Blood will be collected at study conclusion and processed to serum or plasma. Execution of the standard or custom psoriatic studies can be accompanied by pathology services upon request.
Typical scoring of imiquimod-induced psoriasis lesions in female BALB/cJ mice include erythema (redness), scaling and skin thickening.