The 9 to 5 rodent: time for change?

Date: Friday 27 May 2016
Time: 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Location: Swift Suite

Organizers: Penny Hawkins, RSPCA and Huw Golledge, UFAW

Abstract: Behavioral studies using rats and mice are usually conducted in the light phase during the human working day, yet there is evidence to suggest that this can affect data quality and lead to confounds.  For example, behaviour and cognition can differ significantly when nocturnal animals are tested during the light and dark phases.  In addition to the potential negative impact on the science, there are animal welfare implications associated with disturbing animals when they would normally be asleep. Testing animals under more ethologically relevant, ‘naturalistic’ conditions could therefore lead to 3Rs benefits, in terms of both refinements to the way animals are treated and reductions in the numbers used due to improved data quality.

This symposium will discuss some current evidence on the consistency of data obtained from rodents in the light and dark phases, exploring the implications for reproducibility, translatability and animal welfare.  It will also consider the practicalities of working with laboratory rodents during the dark phase.


10:30 - 10:50 AM Overview of key issues associated with using nocturnal rodents during the human working day

Penny Hawkins1, Huw Golledge2

1Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), United Kingdom; 2Universities Federation for Animal Welfare UFAW), United Kingdom

10:50 - 11:10 AM Alone at home: reliability of circadian activity pattern within and between laboratories

Gernot Riedel1, Berry Spruijt2

1University of Aberdeen, Institute of Medical Sciences, Aberdeen, UK; 2Utrecht University, Department of Biology, Utrecht, The Netherlands

11:10 - 11:30 AM Assessing mouse behaviour throughout the light/dark cycle using automated in-cage analysis tools

Gareth Banks1, Ines Heise1, Abraham Acevedo1, J Douglas Armstrong2,3, Rasneer Sonia Bains1, Heather Cater1, Agis Chartsias2, Stuart Peirson4, Duncan Sneddon1, Rowland Sillito3, Valter Tucci5, Sara Wells1Patrick Martin Nolan1

1MRC Harwell, United Kingdom; 2Actual Analytics Ltd., Edinburgh; 3School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh; 4Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute, University of Oxford; 5Department of Neuroscience and Brain Technologies, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova, Italy

11:30 AM - 11:50 PM Anxiety and Fear Measures Across the Circadian Cycle: Forced versus Deliberate Responses of Mice

Oliver Stiedl1, Erik van Zwol1, August B. Smit1, Matthijs Verhage1, Torben Hager2

1VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands, The; 2Biobserve, Bonn, Germany

11:50 - 12:20 PM Light and the laboratory mouse

Stuart Peirson,

University of Oxford, UK

12:20 - 12: 30 Discussion