Exposure to soiled bedding reduces abnormal repetitive behaviors in mice

Autor(en)
Karin Müller, Theresia Lengheimer, Julia B. Kral-Pointner, Johann Wojta, Lusine Yeghiazaryan, Christoph Krall, Rupert Palme, Sonia Kleindorfer, Roberto Plasenzotti, Daniela D. Pollak, Katharina E. Tillmann
Abstrakt

Hygiene management protocols in laboratory mouse husbandries worldwide most commonly employ soiled bedding-exposed sentinel mice to monitor the occurrence of infections in mouse colonies. Using this approach, sentinel mice repeatedly receive a mixture of used bedding, supplied by a variety of cages of a defined hygienic unit for a period of several months. Hereby, microorganisms shed in the used bedding can infect the sentinel animals and can be detected in subsequent health monitoring procedures. However, murine excrements carry more than only microorganisms. Mouse feces and urine also contain a multitude of olfactory molecules, which the animals use to code information about social status and context. However, if and how the persistent and repeated experience with these odor cues affects the behavior of sentinel mice, has not yet been explored. To address this question, we conducted a longitudinal study for neurochemical output parameters related to an organism’s responsiveness to challenging conditions, and for the exploratory assessment of a panel of home cage behaviors in soiled bedding and control female C57BL/6J mice. We found that the number of mice showing abnormal repetitive behaviors, including barbering and bar mouthing, was lower in the soiled bedding group. While neutrophil/lymphocyte ratios and fecal corticosterone metabolites did not differ between groups, the within-group variance of the neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio was reduced in the soiled bedding group. These results show that the occurrence of abnormal repetitive behaviors is lower in sentinel than in control mice and suggest a beneficial effect of soiled bedding on the welfare of laboratory mice and on outcome variability.

Organisation(en)
Department für Verhaltens- und Kognitionsbiologie
Externe Organisation(en)
Medizinische Universität Wien, Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Journal
Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Band
16
ISSN
1662-5153
DOI
https://doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2022.1062864
Publikationsdatum
11-2022
Peer-reviewed
Ja
ÖFOS 2012
106051 Verhaltensbiologie
Schlagwörter
ASJC Scopus Sachgebiete
Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Behavioral Neuroscience
Link zum Portal
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/de/publications/exposure-to-soiled-bedding-reduces-abnormal-repetitive-behaviors-in-mice(1ac05b67-70e0-4344-8789-3a9a80e04dde).html