Including disease relevant biomarker readouts is essential to generate actionable data. At Charles River’s site in Kuopio, Finland, our comprehensive portfolio of in vivo services are complemented by our state of the art biomarker laboratory where studies using flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry, ELISA and Luminex® assays, and autoradiography are performed to support programs in neuroscience and rare disease drug discovery.

In this video, Tuulia Huhtala, PhD, the head of Biomarker lab highlights the biomarker capabilities at the site and discusses how the biomarker services support client studies.

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  • Video Transcript
    Tuulia Huhtala (00:08): My name is Tuulia Huhtala. And I'm the Head of Biomarkers and Molecular Imaging here in Charles River, Finland site. I have a background mainly in nuclear imaging, but now I've been also leading the biomarker labs. So our biomarker lab is known especially for histology. And that is one of the key components, what we are adding for pretty much all of the studies, what we are doing. We do both traditional histology, but also immunohistochemistry. Then in addition to that, we do a lot of protein analysis. So we can do both protein concentration, activity, kinetic measurements and that type of things. Then we also do a lot of gene expression analysis, for example, using branch DNA technology. It's very cost efficient, fast, reliable and sensitive way to look at many, many different targets from same sample. We also do flow cytometry. What we apply, for example, blood analysis of different cytokines and inflammatory markers of samples.
    Tuulia Huhtala (01:13): We can process for the histological work. We do all the processing by ourselves in our facilities, and meaning that we can handle both paraffin samples and as well as cryo samples. We do both of the microtome and cryotome sectioning in-house here in our facilities. For the histological detection, so we do both colorimetric stainings as HE. But we do also a lot of immunohistochemistry where we can do detection of the primary antibodies, both using colorimetric dyes or then also fluorescent labels. We have microscope in-house including all the channels for blue, red, and green, so we can nicely quantify the events of different channels. So, it also enables us to have three different markers at the same time from the same section. Autoradiography is very old methodology applied in many, many disease areas from traditional biodistribution studies. So, it's a very nice way to combine also with traditional histology. We can have several set of sections from the same area of interest, and then look detailed about the ligand binding, what is the receptor level.
    Tuulia Huhtala (02:37): The other thing where autoradiography can be widely used is receptor occupancy assays. Where you can compare the novel compound binding and then competitive binding to the known molecule, to the same receptor target. In vivo results give very good information, for example, behavior or changes in a phenotype or that type of things. When we want to look more detailed about the actual events and biomolecular level, that what type of changes there are in different tissues or whether the disease progression and whether the treatment has had any type of effect, it's actually the biomarker analysis which then kind of confirms that there was for example inflammation or the neuronal loss. For example, inflammation is very, very interesting topic at the moment for disease progression studies and also for the drug development progress. So if the inflammation is related so many disease areas and that's really a typical marker for multiple sclerosis disease models, we can to look at for example, using flow cytometry and different cytokine panels and different cells related to the inflammation process from blood.
    Tuulia Huhtala (03:53): In addition to that, we can look at cytokines. We can use Luminex assay to look up to 30 and even 50 targets from the same sample, how cytokine concentrations are altered or upregulated in the diseased animals. Where we can help with our components for the client studies is really that we can measure the actual changes in biomolecular level and what type of pathology there has happened, and whether there has been effect on the compound treatment.