Karrberg, L., Andersson, L., Kastenmayer, R. J. et al. 2016. Refinement of habituation procedures in diet-induced obese mice. Laboratory Animals 50(5), 397-399.
Orogastric gavage, while a common method for delivering experimental substances in mice, has been shown to induce stress. To minimize the associated stress with this procedure, sham gavage prior to the start of experiment is a common method for habiutating mice. We investigated whether handling and restraint could replace sham treatment in the acclimatization protocol. Mice were either undisturbed, hand-restrained for 10 s or sham-gavaged daily for six days prior to eight days of twice daily gavage. The results showed that repetitive restraint and gavage had no differences in body weight after eight days of treatment compared with the body weights at the start of treatment, whereas animals left undisturbed lost significant weight once treatment began. These data suggest that procedure refinement by replacing sham treatment with hand restraint is sufficient to acclimatize mice to the stress associated with gavage.