Long-term effects of husbandry procedures on stress-related parameters in male mice of two strains

P L P Van Loo, E Van der Meer, C L J J Kruitwagen, J M Koolhaas, L F M Van Zutphen, V Baumans
Laboratory Animals 2004, 38 (2): 169-77
In socially unstable groups of male laboratory mice, individuals may experience a chronic stress situation. Previous experiments have shown that the transfer of specific olfactory cues during cage cleaning, and the provision of nesting material decrease aggression and stress in group-housed male mice. In this study, the combined effect of these husbandry procedures were tested for their long-term effect on stress in groups of moderately aggressive (BALB/c) and severely aggressive (CD-1) male mice. The physiological and behavioural stress-related parameters used were body weight, food and water intake, spleen and thymus weight, adrenal tyrosine hydroxylase activity, urine corticosterone levels and behaviour in a cage emergence test. Long-term provision of nesting material and its transfer during cage cleaning was found to influence several stress-related physiological parameters. Mice housed in cages enriched with nesting material had lower urine corticosterone levels and heavier thymuses, and they consumed less food and water than standard-housed mice. Furthermore, marked differences were found between strains. CD-1 mice were less anxious in the cage emergence test, weighed more, ate and drank more, and had heavier thymuses but lighter spleens and lower corticosterone levels than BALB/c mice. We conclude that the long-term provision of nesting material, including the transfer of nesting material during cage cleaning, reduces stress and thereby enhances the welfare of laboratory mice.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"