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Open Access Growth and Behavior of Congenitally Anophthalmic Lee–Sung Pigs

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Circadian rhythm is usually regulated by the environmental light–dark cycle. Congenitally anophthalmic miniature pigs provide a valuable model for the study of factors affecting circadian rhythms in the absence of visual exposure to the light–dark cycle. This study investigated the growth and daily behavior patterns of Lee–Sung pigs with congenital anophthalmia. Growth in 5 Lee–Sung pigs (LSP) with congenital anophthalmia (LSP-A) and 10 normally developed pigs (LSP-N) was assessed when they were 1 through 6 mo old. Behavioral studies using digital video recording were completed in 6 sexually mature LSP (3 LSP-A and 3 LSP-N). MRI showed that LSP-A lose their vision because of a lack of retinal input and optic chiasm development. LSP-N and LSP-A did not differ in body weight or size at 2, 4, and 6 mo of age. Behavior and activity pattern studies showed that both LSP-A and LSP-N were active mainly during daylight, but LSP-A spent significantly more time exploring their environment during the day (28%) and night (10%) than did LSP-N. This study revealed that growth performance was similar between LSP-A and normal pigs, but their behavior and activity patterns differed. LSP-A showed circadian rhythm abnormalities similar to those in blind humans. This study provides basic data on LSP-A as a model for studying compensatory cross-modal brain plasticity and hormone regulation in the absence of retinal input is deficient and for understanding the role of circadian rhythm regulation.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Animal Science and Technology, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan; 2: Institute of Veterinary Clinical Science, School of Veterinary Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan

Publication date: June 1, 2019

This article was made available online on June 6, 2019 as a Fast Track article with title: "Growth and Behavior of Congenitally Anophthalmic Leeā€“Sung Pigs".

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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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