Skip to main content

The USC Leonard Davis School Aging Murine Phenotyping Core Facility provides the expertise, technical resources, and instrumentation necessary for phenotypic characterization of metabolic and behavioral parameters.

Metabolic Core

Metabolic Core has the capacity to monitor: (i) glucose and insulin levels; (ii) insulin sensitivity by glucose tolerance test (GTT); (iii) food and water intake (including amount and time patterns), energy expenditure (by indirect calorimetry), and voluntary or forced locomotor activity using the TSE PhenoMaster system (TSE Systems, USA); (iv) body composition analysis [body fat, lean mass, body fluids and total body water) using the LF90 time domain nuclear magnetic resonance (TD-NMR; Bruker, USA).

  • Metabolic Profile using the TSE PhenoMaster System for fully automated assessment of home cage metabolic monitoring of food and water intake (including amount and time patterns), energy expenditure (by indirect calorimetry), and voluntary locomotor activity (infrared x-y-z sensors for documentation of movements in 3-dimensions).
  • A fully computerized treadmill system for monitoring exercise motor coordination and performance.
  • Body Composition using the Bruker LF90II NMR minispec for non-invasive measurement of body fat, lean mass, body fluids and total body water.
  • Hematology Profile using the HEMAVET® 950FS Multi-species Hematology System, includes complete blood count profile of leukocytes (white cell count: percent and numbers of neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, basophils); erythrocytes (red blood cell count, hemoglobin, hematocrit, mean cell volume, mean corpuscular hemoglobin and concentration, red cell distribution width and standard deviation); thrombocytes (platelet count and mean platelet volume).
  • Blood Pressure is measured with the CODA® mouse/rat tail-cuff system (Kent Scientific) which utilizes Volume Pressure Recording (VPR) sensor technology.

Behavioral Core

Behavioral Core is located in a dedicated room adjacent to the animal housing rooms in a separate suite to eliminate unnecessary disturbances. All equipment for performing the following behavioral tasks is available: (i) Spontaneous Alternation Behavior (measuring exploratory behavior and short-term spatial memory); (ii) Novel Object Recognition and Placement (measuring episodic and recognition memory); (iii) Barnes maze (short- and long-term memory); (iv) Fear Conditioning (associative learning and memory); (v) Tail suspension (depression-like behavior); (vi) Elevated Plus Maze and Forced Swim (anxiety). Data is collected, analyzed and archived using the Noldus EthoVision XT Tracking System with computer-directed videocamera capture and image analysis software.


Sebastian Brandhorst portrait

Sebastian Brandhorst, PhD

Portrait of Amy Christensen

Amy Christensen, PhD

Jerry Navarette
Core Technician


Core address:
Ray R Irani Hall, 1050 Child’s Way, B25F/G

Office address:
USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, 3715 McClintock Ave, GER327

Scheduling and Pricing

Please contact Sebastian Brandhorst ( and Amy Christensen ( for pricing.
Please contact Jerry Navarette ( for scheduling.
Close Menu