[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
December 22, 1989

Animals in Research

JAMA. 1989;262(24):3404-3405. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430240038016

To the Editor.—  Animals have proved to be invaluable in medical research and have benefited the welfare of both humans and animals.1 However, "to protect animals from unnecessary pain"1 and to simplify our understanding of some complex pathogenetic mechanisms, rational exploration of alternative models is warranted.2Dysfunctional human cilia produce considerable respiratory and other illnesses.3-5 The animal model most often employed to study the problem, the mammalian tracheal explant, has yielded important information about this category of diseases. Noting that the cilia of Tetrahymena pyriformis are morphologically and functionally indistinguishable from those of humans,5,6I began, in high school, to culture this protozoa under varied conditions. My aim was to develop a simple, inexpensive protozoan model to study abnormal cilia.

Study. —  Tetrahymena pyriformis was cultured under baseline conditions at 25°C in proteose peptone broth (group I: control group) and in chemically altered environments (group