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Optimization of the rat digit abduction score (DAS) assay: Evaluation of botulinum neurotoxin activity in the gastrocnemius lateralis, peronei, and extensor digitorum longus

Cornet, S;Prier, C;Kalinichev, M;

The mouse digit abduction score (DAS) assay is commonly used to measure muscle flaccidity-inducing effects of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) _in vivo_. Adapting the assay to rats has been challenging, as injection of onabotulinumtoxinA (onaBoNT-A) into the gastrocnemius muscle, as performed in mice, or into the tibialis anterior leads to sub-optimal sensitivity of the test (Broide et al., 2013). To optimize the experimental design of the rat DAS assay, we evaluated the effects of research-grade, purified, native BoNT serotype A1 (BoNT-A) in three muscles: the gastrocnemius lateralis, peronei, and extensor digitorum longus using female animals. Following injection, animals were tested daily for the digit abduction and body weight.