Document Detail

Accurate measurement of body weight and food intake in environmentally enriched male Wistar rats.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21233804     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Laboratory animals are crucial in the study of energy homeostasis. In particular, rats are used to study alterations in food intake and body weight. To accurately record food intake or energy expenditure it is necessary to house rats individually, which can be stressful for social animals. Environmental enrichment may reduce stress and improve welfare in laboratory rodents. However, the effect of environmental enrichment on food intake and thus experimental outcome is unknown. We aimed to determine the effect of environmental enrichment on food intake, body weight, behavior and fecal and plasma stress hormones in male Wistar rats. Singly housed 5-7-week-old male rats were given either no environmental enrichment, chew sticks, a plastic tube of 67 mm internal diameter, or both chew sticks and a tube. No differences in body weight or food intake were seen over a 7-day period. Importantly, the refeeding response following a 24-h fast was unaffected by environmental enrichment. Rearing, a behavior often associated with stress, was significantly reduced in all enriched groups compared to controls. There was a significant increase in fecal immunoglobulin A (IgA) in animals housed with both forms of enrichment compared to controls at the termination of the study, suggesting enrichment reduces hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity in singly housed rats. In summary, environmental enrichment does not influence body weight and food intake in singly housed male Wistar rats and may therefore be used to refine the living conditions of animals used in the study of energy homeostasis without compromising experimental outcome.
Kylie E L Beale; Kevin G Murphy; Eleanor K Harrison; Angela J Kerton; Mohammad A Ghatei; Stephen R Bloom; Kirsty L Smith
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2011-01-13
Journal Detail:
Title:  Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)     Volume:  19     ISSN:  1930-739X     ISO Abbreviation:  Obesity (Silver Spring)     Publication Date:  2011 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-07-26     Completed Date:  2012-01-17     Revised Date:  2012-08-13    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101264860     Medline TA:  Obesity (Silver Spring)     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1715-21     Citation Subset:  IM    
Section of Investigative Medicine, Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Imperial College London, London, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Animal Welfare*
Animals, Laboratory
Behavior, Animal*
Body Weight*
Energy Intake*
Feces / chemistry
Housing, Animal*
Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System
Immunoglobulin A / analysis
Pituitary-Adrenal System
Psychosocial Deprivation*
Rats, Wistar
Research Design
Stress, Psychological*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Immunoglobulin A

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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