Behavioral effects of ventilated micro-environment housing in three inbred mouse strains

Yann S. Mineur, Wim E. Crusio
Physiology & Behavior. 2009-06-01; 97(3-4): 334-340
DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2009.02.039

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1. Physiol Behav. 2009 Jun 22;97(3-4):334-40. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2009.02.039.
Epub 2009 Mar 9.

Behavioral effects of ventilated micro-environment housing in three inbred mouse

Mineur YS(1), Crusio WE.

Author information:
(1)Brudnick Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, 303 Belmont Street, Worcester,
MA 01604, USA.

Animal facilities aim to combine animal welfare with cost-efficiency and limited
care staff requirements, and individually ventilated cage (IVC) systems were
developed towards these goals. While IVC have great sanitary advantages both for
the animals but also for the care staff, these systems involve potentially
deleterious features such as high levels of air renewal, noise, and subtle
vibrations of the racks because of the air filtering system used, but also reduce
the frequency of stressful cage changes. It is unknown in how far these
conditions may influence the animals’ behavior. This issue becomes critical as
many facilities are switching to IVC systems, possibly complicating replication
of data or biasing ongoing studies. We investigated the effects of IVC housing in
mice on different behaviors including anxiety, exploration, and learning in males
and females of three common and phenotypically distant strains. Results
demonstrate robust effects of IVC in multiple behavioral tests with the direction
of the effect strongly dependent on strain and sex. These data should serve to
alert researchers that a switch to IVC housing during the course of an experiment
has the potential to bias results in a serious manner. In addition, behavioral
baseline data will have to be re-established once the switch has been completed.

DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2009.02.039
PMID: 19281831 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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