Effect of continuous trio breeding compared with continuous pair breeding in ‘shoebox’ caging on measures of reproductive performance in estrogen receptor knockout mice

Tom T. Chatkupt, Nicole L. Libal, Sarah L. Mader, Stephanie J. Murphy, Kim E. Saunders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Some performance standards for continuous trio breeding in ‘shoebox’ cages for inbred stocks and outbred strains of mice challenge the minimum floor space recommendations in the 8th edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. In our study, we evaluated whether continuous trio breeding could be successfully applied to a breeding colony of genetically engineered mice housed in shoebox cages with a floor area of 67.6 in 2 . Mice heterozygous for genetically engineered mutations to estrogen receptors and their wildtype counterparts were continuously bred as trios or pairs. Confounding environmental factors were controlled through standardized husbandry practices and husbandry, and all mice were bred simultaneously to control for temporal factors. Several measures of reproductive performance—including number of litters per female, production index, interlitter interval, litter size at birth, litter size at weaning, weaning rate, and body weight of pups at weaning— were evaluated over approximately 6 mo. Regardless of genotype, interlitter interval, litter size at birth, and litter size at weaning were significantly lower for trio-bred mice than for pair-bred mice. In addition, significant interactions emerged between genotype and breeding strategy for these reproductive measures. Furthermore, significant differences between genotypes occurred for interlitter interval and weaning rate, regardless of breeding strategy. Underlying mechanisms to account for effects of genotype on interlitter interval and the interaction of genotype with breeding strategy were unclear but may reflect effects of overcrowding and reproductive suppression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)328-334
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science
Volume57
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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