Dodgy EAE experiments means more wasted animals

Yesterday we say that there was a desire to do multi centre animal studies.

We said if you do rubbishy animal experiments, you get rubbish.
A well planned and undertaken experiment can mean more than ten rubbish experiments.

The funny thing is that the suggestion of mutli-centre animal trails was published in the Journal Nature .

This is a bit rich, because whilst we want to get our papers published, this it is also one of the homes of unreproducible pop science. 

A while ago it was suggested that salt intake makes autoimmunity worse. This got one of the biggest altmetrics on the plantet. It was covered by loads of media and every one lapped it up.

MD2 said hang on what are they saying and worked out the doses of animals and humans and the conclusion was what a load of…….

To MD2’s credit they posted a comment on the Nature website that you should take it with a pinch. Nature removed the comment twice and MD2 complained and on the third time it is still there. 

The authors were livid. How dare MD2 question this?

Because it sounded dodgey?

However dissecting the science and looking at the dose of salt used to induce the issues you are looking at the dose equivalent to half a kilo of salt a day.

This will kill the average human and make people vomit. About 8g makes you puke. However, mice & rats can’t vomit and so what was the equivalent 600g must have felt like I don’t know.

So you get a paper in Nature and it spawns another ten or so experiments.

So something that you should take with a pinch.. means you are wasting loads of animals.

So what happens in EAE? 

It has been repeated and the original study was shown partially reproduced and shown to be weak. Here we have another paper in a different disease, we will have loads more.

Read the abstract if you want

High salt intake does not exacerbate murine autoimmune thyroiditis. Kolypetri P, Randell E, Van Vliet BN, Carayanniotis G.
Clin Exp Immunol. 2014;176(3):336-40.

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  • Wow!

    This makes me very mindful of the 4AP/Fampridine story. Repurposed heart medicine re-surfacing as one of the few SPMS treatments. Off-label/on-label.

    It is the first time I have heard Nature described in that way although, now I hear it, I do begin to wonder.

  • High fat high salt ( and I would add high sugar 🙂 is not good for anybody. How about behaving reasonably and treating lab animals in a reasonable way. Making mice eat eqivalent to half a kg of salt is plain cruelty. I think somebody should try to call RSPCA. (+ every university is supposed to have some unit responsible for monitoring what the researchers are doing in the rat lab and if the animals are treated reasonably well). So what are they doing?

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