The Animal Facility manages and organizes the breeding and keeping of laboratory animals for use in scientific projects. Animal welfare legislation and the highest scientific standards are enforced to obtain highly relevant scientific results. We provide support and advice to scientists in all issues related to the planning and execution of experiments involving animals. We also provide practical support, such as taking samples and keeping proper documentation. Furthermore, we organize the global export and import of laboratory animals as well as embryonal stem cells.
The FMP conducts basic research in Molecular Pharmacology. Our scientists investigate key biological processes and causes of disease at the molecular level, for example in cancer, ageing including osteoporosis, and neurodegenerative diseases. FMP research aims at expanding the basis for drug therapy. This requires a thorough understanding of the molecular mechanisms and interactions leading to disease, preferably within the complex environment of the whole organism. Studies at this level of complexity often need to include experiments involving animals.
Keeping laboratory animals and performing animal experiments are subject to strict regulations based on the EU-directive 2010/63/EU, on the national level by the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (Tierschutzgesetz) of June 18, 2021 and the Directive for the Protection of Laboratory Animals (Versuchstier-Tierschutz-Verordnung) of August 11, 2021.
At the FMP, we run an animal care facility for rodents (mice/rats) and African clawed frogs fulfilling modern hygienic and technical standards. Rodents are kept in groups in individually ventilated cages containing small housings and manipulable materials (image). The African clawed frogs likewise are kept in groups in fish tanks providing hiding places (image). Qualified personnel take care of the animals on a daily basis.
All animal experiments must be approved by the competent authority (LAGeSo) . At the institute, the Animal Care Officer and the LAGeSo monitor compliance with all regulations.
"Understanding Animal Experimentation" (German: Tierversuche vesrtehen) is an initiative of the German scientific community, coordinated by the Alliance of Science Organisations. It provides comprehensive, up-to-date and fact-based information on animal experiments at publicly funded research institutions. "Understanding Animal Experiments" promotes the dialogue between science and the public and contributes to an objective discussion about animal experiments. Link to the website "Understanding animal experiments"
Animal experiments in the Leibniz Association
Scientists at the FMP used a total of 5,279 laboratory animals, mainly mice, rats and frogs, in experiments in 2022 (26 rats and 10 frogs). These numbers have been submitted to the Berliner Landesamt für Gesundheit und Soziales.
Of these animals, 3,689 mice or rats were killed for organ removal according to §4 Tierschutzgesetz (TierSchG, Animal Welfare Act), i.e., exclusively for organ removal to be used incell culture or in vitro experiments.
In 2022, 1590 mice were used in experiments according to §7 TierSchG. These were usually genetically modified mouse lines in which genotyping was performed by tail tip biopsy, which is an intervention requiring approval. Sacrificing these animals was reported under §7 TierSchG.
In 10 frogs, the procedure involved the harvesting of oocytes, which at the present must be announced but will soon require approval. Under the German Animal Welfare Act, interventions (e.g., perfusion for killing or tail tip biopsies for genotyping) are animal experiments.
In most cases, such experiments will end with sacrificing the animals. Subsequent experiments then make use of cells in cell culture or in vitro.
Most of the animals from the reported experiments were subject to low burden. About 1% of the animals experienced severe burden, due to their severe phenotype. 32 animals were reported at this level of burden.
Non-usable animals (breeding, stock animals): 3273 genetically modified, experimentally non-usable animals were reported. Some of these animals were used as breeding animals.
Research SectionMolecular Physiology & Cell Biology