Effects of more natural housing conditions on the muscular and skeletal characteristics of female C57BL/6J mice
Federal German Institute for Risk Assessment
Kai Diederich Federal German Institute for Risk Assessment
Lars Lewejohann Federal German Institute for Risk Assessment
Juliane Preikschat Federal German Institute for Risk Assessment
Ute Hobbiesiefken Federal German Institute for Risk Assessment
University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna
Laura Brylka University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf
Julia Scheinpflug Federal German Institute for Risk Assessment
Timur Alexander Yorgan University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf
Enrichment of home cages in laboratory experiments offers clear advantages, but has been criticized in some respects. First, there is a lack of definition, which makes methodological uniformity difficult. Second, there is concern that the enrichment of home cages may increase the variance of results in experiments. Here, the influence of more natural housing conditions on physiological parameters of female C57BL/6J mice was investigated from an animal welfare point of view. For this purpose, the animals were kept in three different housing conditions: conventional cage housing, enriched housing and the semi naturalistic environment. The focus was on musculoskeletal changes after long-term environmental enrichment.The housing conditions had a long-term effect on the body weight of the test animals. The more complex and natural the home cage, the heavier the animals. This was associated with increased adipose deposits in the animals. There were no significant changes in muscle and bone characteristics except for single clues (femur diameter, bone resorption marker CTX-1). Additionally, the animals in the semi naturalistic environment (SNE) were found to have the fewest bone anomalies. Housing in the SNE appears to have the least effect on stress hormone concentrations. The lowest oxygen uptake was observed in enriched cage housing.Despite increasing values, observed body weights were in the normal and strain-typical range. Overall, musculoskeletal parameters were slightly improved and age-related effects appear to have been attenuated. The variances in the results were not increased by more natural housing. This confirms the suitability of the applied housing conditions to ensure and increase animal welfare in laboratory experiments.
This work is licensed under a
CC BY 4.0 - Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
CC BY 4.0 International
Environmental Enrichment; Bone Mass; Seminaturalistic Environment; Alzheimers-Disease; Physical-Activity; Laboratory Mice; Metabolic-Rate; Fecal Samples; Weight-Gain; Muscle Mass
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