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Burrowing and nest building behavior as indicators of well-being in mice


Jirkof, Paulin (2014). Burrowing and nest building behavior as indicators of well-being in mice. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 234:139-146.

Abstract

The assessment of pain, distress and suffering, as well as evaluation of the efficacy of stress-reduction strategies, is crucial in animal experimentation but can be challenging in laboratory mice. Nest building and burrowing performance, observed in the home cage, have proved to be valuable and easy-to-use tools to assess brain damage or malfunction as well as neurodegenerative diseases. Both behaviors are used as parameters in models of psychiatric disorders or to monitor sickness behavior following infection. Their use has been proposed in more realistic and clinically relevant preclinical models of disease, and reduction of these behaviors seems to be especially useful as an early sign of dysfunction and to monitor disease progression. Finally, both behaviors are reduced by pain and stress. Therefore, in combination with specific disease markers, changes in nest building and burrowing performance may help provide a global picture of a mouse`s state, and thus aid monitoring to ensure well-being in animal experimentation.

Abstract

The assessment of pain, distress and suffering, as well as evaluation of the efficacy of stress-reduction strategies, is crucial in animal experimentation but can be challenging in laboratory mice. Nest building and burrowing performance, observed in the home cage, have proved to be valuable and easy-to-use tools to assess brain damage or malfunction as well as neurodegenerative diseases. Both behaviors are used as parameters in models of psychiatric disorders or to monitor sickness behavior following infection. Their use has been proposed in more realistic and clinically relevant preclinical models of disease, and reduction of these behaviors seems to be especially useful as an early sign of dysfunction and to monitor disease progression. Finally, both behaviors are reduced by pain and stress. Therefore, in combination with specific disease markers, changes in nest building and burrowing performance may help provide a global picture of a mouse`s state, and thus aid monitoring to ensure well-being in animal experimentation.

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19 citations in Web of Science®
20 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Division of Surgical Research
04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Medical Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:burrowing, nest building, mouse, animal welfare, behaviour
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:14 May 2014 09:15
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:50
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0165-0270
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneumeth.2014.02.001
PubMed ID:24525328

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