The 3i project is building an encyclopaedia of immunological gene functions to advance basic and translational research.
The Infection and Immunity Immunophenotyping (3i) consortium conducts a high-throughput immunological phenotyping of approximately 550 knockout mouse lines generated by the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (WTSI). Funded by the Wellcome Trust and led by King's College London, the consortium includes partners from WTSI, Imperial College, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, and Manchester.
The 3i consortium aims to discover new immunological phenotypes, link immunological findings to other areas of research, adapt immunological methods for high-throughput screening, inform human immune monitoring programmes, and create a long-lasting resource for the scientific community. The project is entirely open access and all data is made available online via this website and the website of the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium (IMPC). All generated knockout mouse lines can be requested from the IMPC.
The phenotyping has two components, an observational screen and a challenge screen. In the observational screen, the immune cell compartments of different organs are analysed in order to identify genes regulating the immune system at steady state. The challenge screen looks at responses to chemical stress and to viral, bacterial and parasitic infections that collectively mimic major aspects of human exposure to the environment.
In addition to the 3i screen, the mice undergo a number of tests in the WTSI pipeline, ranging from tests assessing fertility, anatomical abnormalities, senses, behaviour, and metabolic parameters. The mice are sacrificed at 16 weeks of age and many more tests are performed upon necropsy. A comprehensive overview of tests and all results can be found on the IMPC website. Furthermore, 3i has two sister strategic awards, OBCD and DMDD, that look at bone and cartilage and embryonic development, respectively.
The 3i consortium aims to actively engage the scientific community. Please do not hesitate to leave a comment on the site or email us with ideas and suggestions.