Effects of weaning age and housing conditions on phenotypic differences in mice.

Jeremy Bailoo, Bernhard Voelkl, Justin A. Varholick, Janja Novak, Eimear Murphy, Marianna Russo, Rupert Palme, Hanno Würbel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Poor reproducibility is considered a serious problem in laboratory animal research, with important scientific, economic, and ethical implications. One possible source of conflicting findings in laboratory animal research are environmental differences between animal facilities combined with rigorous environmental standardization within studies. Due to phenotypic plasticity, study-specific differences in environmental conditions during development can induce differences in the animals’ responsiveness to experimental treatments, thereby contributing to poor reproducibility of experimental results. Here, we studied how variation in weaning age (14–30 days) and housing conditions (single versus group housing) affects the phenotype of SWISS mice as measured by a range of behavioral and physiological outcome variables. Weaning age, housing conditions, and their interaction had little effect on the development of stereotypies, as well as on body weight, glucocorticoid metabolite concentration
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11684
JournalScientific reports
StatePublished - Jul 15 2020


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