Open Access Social and Physical Environmental Enrichment Differentially Affect Growth and Activity of Preadolescent and Adolescent Male Rats

(PDF 198.6 kb)
Download Article:


Environmental enrichment for laboratory animals is a widely accepted practice for many species, but few studies address the periods of preadolescence and adolescence. Provision of igloos, tunnels, nesting materials, and social or communal housing are commonly used enrichment strategies in rat cages. In the present study, the effects of individual, pair, and trio housing and the presence or absence of physical cage enrichment on the growth rate, food consumption, and locomotor behavior of juvenile male rats through adolescence were examined. The results indicated that social and physical enrichment decreased the growth and feeding rates and locomotor activity of developing rats as compared with rats living in an impoverished environment. The results show that the growth rates are dependent predominantly on environmental enrichment and that social enrichment alone has no effect. These results demonstrate that enrichment can have significant effects on growth and behavior of male rats.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (JAALAS) serves as an official communication vehicle for the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS). The journal includes a section of refereed articles and a section of AALAS association news. The mission of the refereed section of the journal is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information on animal biology, technology, facility operations, management, and compliance as relevant to the AALAS membership. JAALAS accepts research reports (data-based) or scholarly reports (literature-based), with the caveat that all articles, including solicited manuscripts, must include appropriate references and must undergo peer review.

    Attention Members: To access the full text of the articles, be sure you are logged in to the AALAS website.

    Attention: please note, due to a temporary technical problem, reference linking within the content is not available at this time

  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • Information for Advertisers
  • For issues prior to 1997
  • Institutional Subscription Activation
  • ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
Related content



Share Content

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more