Employing Dictyostelium as an Advantageous 3Rs Model for Pharmacogenetic Research

Grant Otto, Marco Cocorocchio, Laura Munoz, Ricard Tyson, Till Bretschneider, Robin Williams

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Increasing concern regarding the use of animals in research has triggered a growing need for non-animal research models in a range of fields. The development of 3Rs (replacement, refinement, and reduction) approaches in research, to reduce the reliance on the use of animal tissue and whole-animal experiments, has recently included the use of Dictyostelium. In addition to not feeling pain and thus being relatively free of ethical constraints, Dictyostelium provides a range of distinct methodological advantages for researchers that has led to a number of breakthroughs. These methodologies include using cell behavior (cell movement and shape) as a rapid indicator of sensitivity to poorly characterized medicines, natural products, and other chemicals to help understand the molecular mechanism of action of compounds. Here, we outline a general approach to employing Dictyostelium as a 3Rs research model, using cell behavior as a readout to better understand how compounds, such as the active ingredient in chilli peppers, capsaicin, function at a cellular level. This chapter helps scientists unfamiliar with Dictyostelium to rapidly employ it as an advantageous model system for research, to reduce the use of animals in research, and to make paradigm shift advances in our understanding of biological chemistry.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
Subtitle of host publicationChemotaxis
Place of PublicationSpringer New York
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4939-3480-5
ISBN (Print)978-1-4939-3478-2
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2016

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherSpringer New York
ISSN (Print)1064-3745

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