Reproducibility of preclinical animal research improves with heterogeneity of study samples.

Völkl, Bernhard; Vogt, Lucile; Sena, Emily S; Würbel, Hanno (2018). Reproducibility of preclinical animal research improves with heterogeneity of study samples. PLoS biology, 16(2), e2003693. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pbio.2003693

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Single-laboratory studies conducted under highly standardized conditions are the gold standard in preclinical animal research. Using simulations based on 440 preclinical studies across 13 different interventions in animal models of stroke, myocardial infarction, and breast cancer, we compared the accuracy of effect size estimates between single-laboratory and multi-laboratory study designs. Single-laboratory studies generally failed to predict effect size accurately, and larger sample sizes rendered effect size estimates even less accurate. By contrast, multi-laboratory designs including as few as 2 to 4 laboratories increased coverage probability by up to 42 percentage points without a need for larger sample sizes. These findings demonstrate that within-study standardization is a major cause of poor reproducibility. More representative study samples are required to improve the external validity and reproducibility of preclinical animal research and to prevent wasting animals and resources for inconclusive research.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Public Health Institute > Animal Welfare Division
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Public Health Institute
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH)

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Völkl, Bernhard; Vogt, Lucile and Würbel, Hanno

Subjects:

600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

1544-9173

Publisher:

Public Library of Science

Language:

English

Submitter:

Jeremy Davidson Bailoo

Date Deposited:

19 Apr 2018 12:29

Last Modified:

23 Oct 2019 20:45

Publisher DOI:

10.1371/journal.pbio.2003693

PubMed ID:

29470495

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.113663

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/113663

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