1Department of Neuropathology, Medical School Düsseldorf, 2Department of Molecular Genetics, Weizmann Institute for Science, 3Center of Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Düsseldorf
Successful breeding of the laboratory mouse (Mus musculus) is critical to the establishment and maintenance of a productive animal colony. Additionally, mouse embryos are frequently studied to answer questions about developmental processes. A wide variety of genetic tools now exist for regulating gene expression during mouse embryonic and postnatal development, which can help scientists to understand more about heritable diseases affecting human development.
This video provides an introduction to the reproduction and development of mice. In addition to clarifying the terminology used to describe developmental progression, the presentation reviews key stages of the mouse life cycle. First, major development events that take place in utero are described, with special attention given to the unique layout of early rodent embryos. Next, husbandry protocols are provided for postnatal mice, or pups, including the process of weaning, or removal of pups from their mother's cage. Since males and females must be separated at this stage to prevent unscheduled mating, the demonstration also reveals how to determine mouse sex. Subsequently, instructions are given for carrying out controlled mouse breeding, including screening for the copulatory plug, which is useful for precisely timed embryonic development. Finally, the video highlights strategies used to in…
Source: Kay Stewart, RVT, RLATG, CMAR; Valerie A. Schroeder, RVT, RLATG. University of Notre Dame, IN
Millions of mice and rats are bred for use in biomedical research each year. Worldwide, there are several large commercial breeding facilities that supply mice to research laboratories, but many facilities choose to also breed mice and rats in-house to reduce costs and increase research options. When breeding in the animal facility, researchers are able to manipulate the genetics of the animals, time the pregnancies to meet the needs of the research, and work with embryos and neonates as required.
Mice and rats can be bred in a variety of schemes and methods. Technical procedures, such as the use of vaginal cytology, visualization of the vaginal area, and observation of copulatory plugs, have been developed to assist with the synchronization of breeding to correspond to research requirements. This manuscript is an overview of the basic fundamentals of mouse and rat breeding and technical procedures used. More detailed descriptions of the complex breeding schemes, and the full description of the methods for vaginal cytology, are available in the list of references.…
Lab Animal Research