Refinement Database

Database on Refinement of Housing, Husbandry, Care, and Use of Animals in Research

This database, created in 2000, is updated every three months with newly published scientific articles, books, and other publications related to improving or safeguarding the welfare of animals used in research.

Links to the full text for publications that appear in open access journals or are published on the AWI website are provided under the abstract.

Tips for using the database:

  • This landing page displays all of the publications in the database.
  • Use the drop-down menus to filter these publications by Animal Type and/or Topic.
  • Clicking on a parent category (e.g., Rodent) will include publications relating to all the items in that category (e.g., Chinchilla, Gerbil, Guinea pig, etc.).
  • You may also add a keyword to further narrow your search.
  • Please note that at this time, only publications dated 2010 or later (with some exceptions) can be filtered by Animal Type and Topic. Most publications older than 2010 can only be searched by keyword. 
Tricaine, or MS-222, is the most commonly used chemical anesthetic in zebrafish research. It is thought to act via blocking voltage-gated sodium channels, though its mechanism of action, particularly at the neuronal level, is not...
General anesthesia as used for rodent research can have adverse effects on physiologic mechanisms. Thermoregulation is often greatly inhibited, with resultant deleterious effects on cardiac and respiratory function. These potential effects can be mitigated by...
Human hair removal brands such as Nair™ are sometimes used in research to remove hair from mice before surgery, imaging, and other procedures.1,3 While the use of these depilatory creams in rodent research is relatively...
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the most common neurodegenerative motor disorder and primarily affects movement control but also a range of non-motor functions. With unknown etiology and lack of cure, much research is dedicated to unravel...
Steroid-induced osteonecrosis of the femoral head (SONFH) is a condition documented in humans and animals exposed to chronic steroid administration. The rabbit has become a preferred animal model for investigating the pathogenesis and treatment of...
Fibrosis, as a common final pathway in many renal diseases, contributes significantly to the decline of organ function and to progression to end-stage renal disease. To establish therapeutic interventions that target fibrosis, animal models are...
Experimental murine models are an essential tool in the field of bone marrow (BM) transplantation research. Therefore, numerous mice are required to obtain a sufficient number of BM cells, which is in contrast with the...
Zebrafish are frequently used as a means to investigate development. These studies increasingly require repeated anaesthesia of zebrafish during juvenile (i.e. metamorphic) stages. The effects of anaesthesia during this time remain poorly studied. The aim...
The assessment of welfare and disease progression in animal models is critical. Most tools rely on evaluating individual subjects, whereas social behaviors, also sensitive to acute illness, chronic diseases, or mental health, are scarcely monitored...
Much of the research done on aging, oxidative stress, anxiety, and cognitive and social behavior in rodents has focused on caloric restriction (CR). This often involves several days of single housing, which can cause numerous...
There is an art and science to performing mouse anesthesia, which is a significant component to animal research. Frequently, anesthesia is one vital step of many over the course of a research project spanning weeks...
General anesthesia induces many systemic effects, including thermoregulatory impairment and subsequent perioperative hypothermia. Due to the animals' small size, monitoring and maintaining body temperatures in laboratory rodents during anesthesia is important for successful surgical outcomes...
Oxygen supplementation is rarely considered when anesthetizing laboratory mice, despite reports that mice become profoundly hypoxic under anesthesia. Little is known about the effects of hypoxia on anesthetic performance. This article focuses on the effects...
Murine models of tumor development often require invasive procedures for tumor implantation, potentially causing pain or distress. However, analgesics are often withheld during implantation because of concerns that they may adversely affect tumor development. Previous...
The teleost zebrafish (Danio rerio), an established model for human skeletal diseases, is reared under controlled conditions with defined parameters for temperature and photoperiod. Studies aimed at defining the proper rearing density have been performed...
The increasing potential for radiation exposure from nuclear accidents or terrorist activities has intensified the need to develop pharmacologic countermeasures against injury from total body irradiation (TBI). Many initial experiments to develop and test these...
Subcutaneous tumor models in mice are the most commonly used experimental animal models in cancer research. To improve animal welfare and the quality of scientific studies, the distress of experimental animals needs to be minimized...
The welfare of laboratory animals is a consistent concern for researchers. Its evaluation not only fosters ethical responsibility and addresses legal requirements, but also provides a solid basis for a high quality of research. Recently...
Background: General anesthesia in rabbits is associated with higher morbidity and mortality relative to other mammalian species commonly anesthetized. Unique challenges related to endotracheal intubation (ETI) in rabbits contribute to this risk. Objective: To improve...
In oncology research, while xenograft tumor models are easily visualized and humane endpoints can be clearly defined, metastatic tumor models are often based on more subjective clinical observations as endpoints. This study aimed at identifying...
Both endotracheal tubes and supraglottic airway devices appear to provide adequate unassisted ventilation in anaesthetised rabbits. However, it is highly recommended that a capnograph is used with both airway devices to monitor ventilation changes, especially...
The zebrafish is becoming an increasingly popular research animal around the world. Its welfare is affected by an array of environmental factors, such as food access and water quality. Holding density is an important welfare...
The use of proper anesthesia in zebrafish research is essential to ensure fish welfare and data reliability. However, anesthesia long-term side effects remain poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to assess anesthesia quality...
Cancer-bearing mice are at risk of developing anxiety, pain, or malaise. These conditions may not only harm welfare but could also undermine data quality and translational validity in studies to develop therapeutic interventions. We aimed...
Laboratory animals frequently undergo routine experimental procedures such as handling, restraining and injections. However, as a known source of stress, these procedures potentially impact study outcome and data quality. In the present study, we, therefore...

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