University of Oulu

Kamakura, R., Kovalainen, M., Leppäluoto, J., Herzig, K.-H., & Mäkelä, K. A. (2016). The effects of group and single housing and automated animal monitoring on urinary corticosterone levels in male C57BL/6 mice. Physiological Reports, 4(3), e12703.

The effects of group and single housing and automated animal monitoring on urinary corticosterone levels in male C57BL/6 mice

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Author: Kamakura, Remi1; Kovalainen, Miia1; Leppäluoto, Juhani1;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Biomedicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Biocenter of Oulu and Medical Research Center Oulu and Oulu University Hospital, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Department of Gastroenterology and Metabolism, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2016
Publish Date: 2019-08-23


Mice are used extensively in physiological research. Automated home‐cage systems have been developed to study single‐housed animals. Increased stress by different housing conditions might affect greatly the results when investigating metabolic responses. Urinary corticosteroid concentration is considered as a stress marker. The aim of the study was to compare the effects of different housing conditions and an automated home‐cage system with indirect calorimetry located in an environmental chamber on corticosterone levels in mice. Male mice were housed in different conditions and in automated home‐cage system to evaluate the effects of housing and measuring conditions on urine corticosterone levels. Corticosterone levels in single‐housed mice in the laboratory animal center were consistently lower compared with the group‐housed mice. Single‐housed mice in a separate, small animal unit showed a rise in their corticosterone levels a day after they were separated to their individual cages, which decreased during the following 2 days. The corticosterone levels of group‐housed mice in the same unit were increased during the first 7 days and then decreased. On day 7, the corticosterone concentrations of group‐housed mice were significantly higher compared with that of single‐housed mice, including the metabolic measurement protocol. In conclusion, single housing caused less stress when compared with group‐housed mice. In addition, the urine corticosterone levels were decreased in single‐housed mice before the metabolic measurement started. Thus, stress does not affect the results when utilizing the automated system for measuring metabolic parameters like food and water intake and calorimetry.

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Series: Physiological reports
ISSN: 2051-817X
ISSN-E: 2051-817X
ISSN-L: 2051-817X
Volume: 4
Issue: 3
Article number: e12703
DOI: 10.14814/phy2.12703
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3111 Biomedicine
Copyright information: © 2016 The Authors.Physiological Reportspublished by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf ofthe American Physiological Society and The Physiological Society.This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License,which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.