From the Director

Rats and mice are very important mammals in various fields of medical and biological research.Together with lower organisms, both rats and mice are playing a key role in hereditary research to unravel the secrets of genes. Even though both species appear very similar, the rat is predestinated for many kinds of research due to it's bigger size and different neurological characteristics.

The Completion of the genomic sequence of the rat was one big step and the prerequisite in understanding the function of genes and it's dysfunction for several diseases. The second step was several gene-targetting technologies recently reported in rats, including gene-driven ENU mutagenesis, rat ES/iPS cells, and genome editing technology. Among these technologies, the CRISPR/Cas9 technologiy has rapidly been progressed and severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) rats that can accept human cells have been developed. Many mutant rats including KO rats will be newly developed using these technologies in the near future.

The National BioResource Project - Rat in Japan (NBRP-Rat) is now operating in its 20th year and contributes as the world’s largest rat repository to various fields of biomedical research. Collection of rat strains and genetic sub strains, phenotypic and genotypic characterization, cryopreservation of embryos/sperm, supply of the collected rat strains and a publicly accessible database of all assembled data are the major goals of this project. Once achieved, this unique database including the unique rat strains will become a powerful tool for biomedical research. A catalogue of comparable, standardized and well characterized rat strains will lead to new and more precise research topics as well as it will facilitate biomedical sciences, drug discovery and advanced chemical research not only in Japan but worldwide.

Core facility: Institute of Laboratory Animals, Graduate School of Medicine
 Kyoto University

Project Manager: Masahide Asano, Ph.D., Professor

Steering Committee and Advisory Board of NBRP Rat