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  1. To Group or Not to Group? Good Practice for Housing Male Laboratory Mice

    Contributor(s):: Sarah Kappel, Penny Hawkins, Michael T. Mendl

    It is widely recommended to group-house male laboratory mice because they are ‘social animals’, but male mice do not naturally share territories and aggression can be a serious welfare problem. Even without aggression, not all animals within a group will be in a state of positive...

  2. Of Mice, Birds, and Men: The Mouse Ultrasonic Song System Has Some Features Similar to Humans and Song-Learning Birds

    Contributor(s):: Gustavo Arriaga, Eric P. Zhou, Erich D. Jarvis

    Humans and song-learning birds communicate acoustically using learned vocalizations. The characteristic features of this social communication behavior include vocal control by forebrain motor areas, a direct cortical projection to brainstem vocal motor neurons, and dependence on auditory feedback...

  3. Effects of stereotypic behaviour and chronic mild stress on judgement bias in laboratory mice

    Contributor(s):: Novak, J., Stojanovski, K., Melotti, L., Reichlin, T., Palme, R., Wurbel, H.

    Cognitive processes are influenced by underlying affective states, and tests of cognitive bias have recently been developed to assess the valence of affective states in animals. These tests are based on the fact that individuals in a negative affective state interpret ambiguous stimuli more...

  4. Association between personality and stereotypic behaviours in the African striped mouse Rhabdomys dilectus

    Contributor(s):: Joshi, S., Pillay, N.

    Stereotypic behaviours, which are abnormal, repetitive and invariant behaviours caused by frustration and/or central nervous system dysfunction, develop as a result of sub-optimal captive conditions that provide inadequate motor and sensory stimulation. However, not all individuals housed under...

  5. The effect of isoflurane anaesthesia and buprenorphine on the mouse grimace scale and behaviour in CBA and DBA/2 mice

    Contributor(s):: Miller, A., Kitson, G., Skalkoyannis, B., Leach, M.

    Prevention or alleviation of pain in laboratory mice is a fundamental requirement of in vivo research. The mouse grimace scale (MGS) has the potential to be an effective and rapid means of assessing pain and analgesic efficacy in laboratory mice. Preliminary studies have demonstrated its...

  6. Stereotypic mice are aggressed by their cage-mates, and tend to be poor demonstrators in social learning tasks

    Contributor(s):: Harper, L., Choleris, E., Ervin, K., Fureix, C., Reynolds, K., Walker, M., Mason, G.

    Stereotypic behaviours (SBs) are linked with behavioural inflexibility and resemble symptoms of autism, suggesting that stereotypic animals could have autistic-like social impairments. SBs are also common in caged mice. We therefore hypothesised relationships between stereotypic and social...

  7. Testing three measures of mouse insensibility following induction with isoflurane or carbon dioxide gas for a more humane euthanasia

    Contributor(s):: Moody, C. M., Makowska, I. J., Weary, D. M.

    Laboratory mice are commonly killed via exposure to gradually increasing concentrations of isoflurane and carbon dioxide (CO 2) gas. Once rendered insensible using isoflurane or CO 2, a high concentration of CO 2 is used to decrease time to death. When the switch from isoflurane to a high flow...

  8. The power of automated behavioural homecage technologies in characterizing disease progression in laboratory mice: a review

    Contributor(s):: Richardson, C. A.

    Behavioural changes that occur as animals become sick have been characterized in a number of species and include the less frequent occurrence of 'luxury behaviours' such as playing, grooming and socialization. 'Sickness behaviours' or behavioural changes following exposure to infectious agents,...

  9. Housing condition and nesting experience do not affect the Time to Integrate to Nest Test (TINT)

    Contributor(s):: Rock, M. L., Karas, A. Z., Gallo, M. S., Pritchett-Corning, K., Gaskill, B. N.

    Managing and assessing well-being in laboratory mice ( Mus musculus) is both challenging and necessary. Assessments intended to detect negative welfare states in mice are usually performed via observation of animals in the home cage, but a substantial amount of time and skill may be required to...

  10. Animal welfare beyond the cage ... and beyond the evidence?

    Contributor(s):: Blanchard, R. J.

    In "Laboratory Rodent Welfare: Thinking Outside the Cage," Balcombe (2010/this issue) suggests that laboratory cage housing is damaging to rats and mice because it does not meet their evolved needs and may damage their psychological and physical health. The article also indicates that larger and...

  11. Behavioral assessment of intermittent wheel running and individual housing in mice in the laboratory

    Contributor(s):: Pham, T. M., Brene, S., Baumans, V.

    Physical cage enrichment - exercise devices for rodents in the laboratory - often includes running wheels. This study compared responses of mice in enriched physical and social conditions and in standard social conditions to wheel running, individual housing, and open-field test. The study...

  12. Do male mice prefer or avoid each other's company? Influence of hierarchy, kinship, and familiarity

    Contributor(s):: Loo, P. L. P. van, Groot, A. C. de, Zutphen, B. F. M. van, Baumans, V.

    In the laboratory, individual housing of male mice who otherwise show aggression is common practice. Because mice are a social species, the question arises whether this procedure is right from the animals' point of view. This study tested the preference of subordinate animals for their dominant...

  13. Effects of environmental enrichment for mice: variation in experimental results

    Contributor(s):: Weerd, H. A. van de, Aarsen, E. L., Mulder, A., Kruitwagen, C. L. J. J., Hendriksen, C. F. M., Baumans, V.

    This study focused on the effects of different enriched environments for mice in a number of behavioural and physiological parameters in 2 routine laboratory testing procedures: potency testing for tetanus vaccine and stress-induced hyperthermia. The variability in the results was studied by...

  14. Genetic engineering and other factors that might affect human-animal interactions in the research setting

    Contributor(s):: Comber, J., Griffin, G.

    Evidence exists, particularly in the welfare literature of nonhuman animals on the farm, that the interaction between nonhuman animals and the personnel who care for them can have a strong effect on the animals' behavior, productivity, and welfare. Among species commonly used for biomedical...

  15. Laboratory rodent welfare: thinking outside the cage

    Contributor(s):: Balcombe, J.

    This commentary presents the case against housing rats and mice in laboratory cages; the commentary bases its case on their sentience, natural history, and the varied detriments of laboratory conditions. The commentary gives 5 arguments to support this position: (a) rats and mice have a high...

  16. Phenotype characterization and welfare assessment of transgenic rodents (mice)

    Contributor(s):: Mertens, C., Rulicke, T.

    Methods of transgenesis in vertebrate animals in the laboratory involve the stable addition or selective substitution of defined genes into the germline. Although there is a continuous and remarkable development in transgenic technology-the quality of transgenes, gene-targeting vectors, and...

  17. Prolonged pain research in mice: trends in reference to the 3Rs

    Contributor(s):: Balcombe, J., Ferdowsian, H., Briese, L.

    This literature review documents trends in the use of mice in prolonged pain research, defined herein as research that subjects mice to a source of pain for at least 14 days. The total amount of prolonged pain research on mice has increased dramatically in the past decade for the 3 pain...

  18. The development of a novel form of mouse cage enrichment

    Contributor(s):: Leach, M. C., Ambrose, N., Bowell, V. J., Morton, D. B.

    This article describes the design and testing of a novel form of mouse cage enrichment. A cage insert was designed and developed to fulfill a number of enrichment goals pertaining to its effectiveness and practicality (i.e., to improve the environment of mice in laboratories while causing the...

  19. The effects of chronic exposure to common bedding materials on the metabolic rate and overall health of male CD-1 mice

    Contributor(s):: Becker, C. E., Mathur, C. F., Rehnberg, B. G.

    Anecdotes and personal Web pages claim that cedar and pine beddings cause respiratory distress in rodents, although no previous research could be found to support these claims. There have, however, been published studies of respiratory distress in cedar and pine mill workers. That research links...

  20. The influence of the location of a nest box in an individually ventilated cage on the preference of mice to use it

    Contributor(s):: Kostomitsopoulos, N. G., Paronis, E., Alexakos, P., Balafas, E., Loo, P. van, Baumans, V.

    The improvement of housing conditions for mice by using environmental enrichment materials is of high concern for the scientific community. Plastic, autoclavable nest boxes are commercially available and ready to use for specific cases such as in individually ventilated cages, metabolic cages, or...