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Open Access Mouse Embryo Yield and Viability after Euthanasia by CO2 Inhalation or Cervical Dislocation

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Efficient production of transgenic mice requires high yields of viable, healthy embryos. Cervical dislocation (without prior anesthesia) rather than CO2 inhalation as a means of euthanasia has been justified on the basis of the increased yield of viable ova, but controlled studies have not directly supported this contention. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) Guides, and respective Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUC) have supported the use of CO2 as a preferred, humane method. The study reported here was undertaken to determine the relative yields of viable embryos from mice euthanized either by inhalation of 100% CO2 or by cervical dislocation. Inbred and hybrid mouse strains, representative of common strains used in genetic engineering experimentation included C57BL/6, FVB/N, and B6SJLF1. There was no difference in the embryo yields in comparisons using the two methods of euthanasia (P = 0.534). Decisions regarding the method of euthanasia can be made on the basis of criteria other than those associated with embryo yield and viability.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Rochester Medical Center, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Center for Aging and Developmental Biology, and the University of Rochester Transgenic Facility, Rochester, New York 14642-8645

Publication date: 2003-10-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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