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Open Access Retrospective Analysis of the Effects of Identification Procedures and Cage Changing by Using Data from Automated, Continuous Monitoring

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Many variables can influence animal behavior and physiology, potentially affecting scientific study outcomes. Laboratory and husbandry procedures—including handling, cage cleaning, injections, blood collection, and animal identification—may produce a multitude of effects. Previous studies have examined the effects of such procedures by making behavioral and physiologic measurements at specific time points; this approach can be disruptive and limits the frequency or duration of observations. Because these procedures can have both acute and long-term effects, the behavior and physiology of animals should be monitored continuously. We performed a retrospective data analysis on the effects of 2 routine procedures, animal identification and cage changing, on motion and breathing rates of mice continuously monitored in the home cage. Animal identification, specifically tail tattooing and ear tagging, as well as cage changing, produced distinct and reproducible postprocedural changes in spontaneous motion and breathing rate patterns. Behavioral and physiologic changes lasted approximately 2 d after tattooing or ear tagging and 2 to 4 d for cage changing. Furthermore, cage changes showed strain-, sex-, and time-of-day–dependent responses but not age-dependent differences. Finally, by reviewing data from a rodent model of multiple sclerosis as a retrospective case study, we documented that cage changing inadvertently affected experimental outcomes. In summary, we demonstrate how retrospective analysis of data collected continuously can provide high-throughput, meaningful, and longitudinal insights in to how animals respond to routine procedures.

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Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Vium, San Mateo, California 2: Vium, San Mateo, California;, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: March 1, 2019

This article was made available online on February 14, 2019 as a Fast Track article with title: "Retrospective Analysis of the Effects of Identification Procedures and Cage Changing by Using Data from Automated, Continuous Monitoring".

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  • 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.

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