CHLA Saban Rodent Metabolic Core

Name:  Saban Rodent Metabolic Core

Overview: The CHLA Saban Rodent Metabolic Core offers access to state-of-the-art technology and high quality metabolic phenotyping services to researchers studying diabetes, obesity and metabolism. Experiments are conducted at CHLA by our highly trained and experienced core personnel using the most up to date, standardized techniques. 

Body Composition analysis
Indirect calorimetry
Locomotor activity
Food intake
Glucose and insulin tolerance
Leptin tolerance
Sample collection
Hormone assay
Lipid assay
Core body temperature
Consultation and training


  1. Body Composition
    1. EchoMRI-700 Whole Body Magnetic Resonance Analyzer System provides precise NMR based non-invasive measurements of body fat, lean mass, body fluids and total body water in mice or rats, in less than 2 minutes per sample.
  2. Metabolic Cages: We offer the TSE LabMaster/PhenoMaster Metabolic Phenotyping System, a unique, modular phenotyping platform that allows fully automated, perfectly synchronized, and completely non-invasive assessment of metabolic, behavioral, and physiological parameters of energy balance in both mice and rats, within a non-stressful, home-cage environment.
    1. Energy expenditure is measured by indirect calorimetry, which uses high-resolution measurements of the oxygen consumed and the carbon dioxide produced to determine caloric expenditure, and substrate utilization. Multiplex technology allows for synchronized measurements taken every 10 minutes, over a 5 day experimental period.
    2. Feeding behavior is assessed by real time monitoring of food intake from spill proof bottles attached to high precision weighing sensors. Measurements taken up to every minute, over the experimental period, allow for highly detailed spatial and temporal analysis of feeding behavior, including meal patterns. An optional second feed bottle is available for studies involving preference between two diets.
    3. Physical activity: Spontaneous locomotor activity is measured with infrared light beams in the x and y axis. Interruptions in the beams caused by movements are sensed and registered at high spatial and temporal resolution.
  3. Glucose homeostasis: Our staff has extensive scientific training in physiology and metabolism and technical experience and expertise in metabolic phenotyping techniques and models of diabetes and metabolic disease. We offer testing services and training in methods to assess glucose homeostasis in vivo
    1. Glucose tolerance: Effects of a single injection of glucose on blood glucose levels measured over 2 hours.
    2. Insulin tolerance: Effects of a single injection of insulin on blood glucose levels measured over 2 hours.
  4. Leptin Sensitivity
    1. Physiological and behavioral response of the adipocyte-derived hormone leptin. Effects of exogenous leptin on food intake, body weight and fat mass are measured over 3 days.
  5. Pyruvate tolerance testing is a variant of the glucose tolerance test (GTT)in which pyruvate is injected instead of glucose. The pyruvate bolus elicits a glycemic excursion that reflects hepatic gluconeogenesis.
  6. Training for GTT, ITT, PTT and leptin sensitivity is available, and includes consultation, optimized protocols and on site, hands on demonstration of the assay
  7. Sample collection (for biochemistry, molecular biology) and/or serum collection for hormone analysis.
  8. Plasma hormone analysis of insulin or leptin (ELISA)
  9. Plasma lipid analysis of total free fatty acids, triglycerides or cholesterol
  10. Core body temperature measurement in rats and mice with digital Thermocouple Thermometer
  11. Initial consultation includes assistance with study design and basic data analysis.
  12. Scientific advising, including detailed analysis and presentation of data, preparation of figures for manuscripts and grants, scientific interpretation of results and in-depth advising and/or design of future studies.

Fee structure:

  1. Body composition analysis (NMR)-$15 per sample
  2. Metabolic cages that measure energy expenditure, locomotor activity, and food consumption – Cost: Up to 8 mice or rats, per 5 day run. (CHLA/USC) $800 for first run, and $400 for second run; (other institutions) $1,200 for first run and $800 for second run
  3. Glucose or insulin tolerance test – $150/sample
  4. Leptin sensitivity test – $150/sample
  5. Pyruvate tolerance test$150/sample
  6. Sample collection – $15-$25/sample
  7. Plasma insulin or leptin measurement – $15/sample/assay
  8. Plasma lipid (FFA, TG, Chol) assay – $15/sample/assay
  9. Core body temperature – $5/sample
  10. Training – $200/test
  11. Initial consultation and basic data analysis – free
  12. Scientific consulting or technical advising, including detailed data analysis, presentation and interpretation of results, study design, equipment and laboratory setup, assay optimization etc. – $80/hr

EchoMRI-700       Metabolic home cage       TSE LabMaster-PhenoMaster Metabolic Phenotyping System

Download the Non-CHLA Investigator Metabolic Core Registration. (PDF)


Scientific Director
Sebastien Bouret Ph.D.
(323) 361-8743 

Technical Director
For questions and inquires please contact                                                                                                    The Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles at

Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.
4546 Sunset Blvd.
SRT, room 303B
Los Angeles, CA 90027