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Title: Co-species housing in mice and rats: Effects on physiological and behavioral stress responsivity
Authors: Saskia S. Arndt
Dissaya Lohavech
José van't Klooster
Frauke Ohl
Utrecht University
Mahidol University
Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience
Keywords: Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology;Neuroscience
Issue Date: 1-Mar-2010
Citation: Hormones and Behavior. Vol.57, No.3 (2010), 342-351
Abstract: Co-species housing of mice and rats is common practice at most breeding facilities and research laboratories, neglecting the possible effects on the animals. We investigated physiological as well as behavioral stress-reactivity in mice and rats which were either derived from a co-species or species-separated housing condition at the breeding facilities. The animals were kept under the housing condition they were used to or assigned to the opposite one. Co-species housing had a significant impact on acute stress reactivity in mice and rats but only if they were used to this housing condition throughout their lives. Moreover, the stress-effects appeared to be long lasting. Assigning animals, derived from a species-separated housing condition, to co-species housing led to chronic stress in mice and affected experimental behavior of rats. Our findings led to the conclusion that co-species housing in mice and rats should be avoided, supporting the recommendations by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS). In order to support the interpretation, facilitate the reproducibility and comparability and subsequently the generalizability of experimental results, breeding facilities should at least provide detailed information about their housing conditions. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
ISSN: 10956867
Appears in Collections:Scopus 2006-2010

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