General Health & Activity Levels
New behavioral tests are continuously developed and validated.
Using the Irwin test in mice, physical characteristics and conspicuities, sensorimotor reflexes and motor abilities will be checked by an experienced observer.
- Body weight
- Body temperature
- Existence of whiskers
- Constitution of the fur and eyes
- Individual remarks (e.g. bites or other lesions)
- Whiskers-orienting reflex
- Righting reflex
- Ear twitch reflex
- Eye blink reflex
- Pupillary reflex
- Vertical pole test
- Wire suspension test
Using the Irwin test in rats, physical characteristics and sensorimotor reflexes are measured as in mice (see above).
Additionally rats are tested in the following tests:
- Inclined layer test (tilted platform test, balance)
- grasping reflex (sensorimotor reflex)
- chimney test (spatial orientation)
- cliff hanging (muscle strength)
Body weight of 6-month old 5xFAD transgenic mice. Body weights separated by sex. 5xFAD: n = 12 (6 male and 6 female); nTg: n = 12 (6 male and 6 female). Mean +SEM. T-test. **p<0.01; ***p<0.001.
Nest Building Test
Nest Building Behavior Mice
To test the individual Nest Building Behavior, mice are individually housed in cages containing wood chip bedding and one square of pressed cotton (`nestlet´). No other nesting material (e.g. wood wool) is provided. The following morning the manipulation of the nestlet and the constitution of the built nest are assessed manually according to a five-point scale.
Nest building behavior in 2-, 3- and 6-month old Line 61 α-Synuclein transgenic mice compared to non-transgenic littermates. Tg: n = 13-15, nTg: n = 11-15; *** p<0.001; Data are shown as mean + SEM. Two way ANOVA, Bonferroni’s posthoc test.
Nest Building Behavior Rats
The ability of rats to build nests is assessed by offering the animals sterile nesting material that is placed into the metal grid next to the food pellets.
In the evening, rats are provided with nesting material. The following morning, the quantitative amount of nesting material that was actively pulled into the cage, as well as the quality of the nest is assessed. The unused nesting material is thus weighed and recorded, and photographs of the nests are taken and analyzed manually by an experienced experimenter.
Open Field Test
A Plexiglas Open Field (TSE-System®) is used to test the activity of rodents. Infrared photo beams detect movements on the ground but also rearing (standing on the hind paws). Testing is performed under standard room lighting conditions in naïve animals. The number of fecal boli is counted as measure of emotionality. A tracking system automatically measures the activity, hyperactivity, rearing, thigmotaxis, and distance traversed. Only the amount of fecal boli is measured manually.
Open field behavior of MK-801 treated C57Bl/6 mice. Left graph represents the distance traversed of MK801 treated animals compared to sham treated controls. MK801 treated mice show increased locomotion starting 20 minutes after treatment. Right graph represents the hyperactivity level of MK801 treated animals compared to sham treated controls. MK801 treated mice show increased hyperactivity level starting 20 minutes after treatment. Data are shown as mean ± SEM. Two way ANOVA. **p<0.01;***p<0.001.