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Litter Size: The number of offspring produced at one birth by a viviparous animal.

Fundamentals of Breeding and Weaning

JoVE 10293

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

Isolation of Cerebrospinal Fluid from Rodent Embryos for use with Dissected Cerebral Cortical Explants

1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, 2Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, Institute for Neuroscience, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, 3Division of Genetics, Department of Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, 4Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Boston Children's Hospital, 5Department of Pathology, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School

JoVE 50333


 Neuroscience

A Novel Surgical Approach for Intratracheal Administration of Bioactive Agents in a Fetal Mouse Model

1Molecular Virology and Gene Therapy, KU Leuven, 2Department of Woman and Child, KU Leuven, 3Neurobiology and Gene Therapy, KU Leuven, 4Division of Nuclear Medicine, KU Leuven, 5Biomedical NMR Unit/ MoSAIC, KU Leuven

JoVE 4219


 Medicine

Moderate Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and Quantification of Social Behavior in Adult Rats

1Department of Psychology, University of New Mexico, 2Department of Neurosciences, University of New Mexico, 3Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of New Mexico, 4Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience, University of Lethbridge

JoVE 52407


 Behavior

Isolation and Cryopreservation of Neonatal Rat Cardiomyocytes

1Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences and Center for Comparative Medicine and Translational Research, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, 2Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, 3The Cyrus Tang Hematology Center, Soochow University

JoVE 52726


 Developmental Biology

Development and Reproduction of the Laboratory Mouse

JoVE 5159

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


 Biology II

Isolation of Leukocytes from the Murine Tissues at the Maternal-Fetal Interface

1Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, 2School of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health, Research Centre for Reproductive Health, the Robinson Research Institute, The University of Adelaide, 3Department of Immunology & Microbiology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, 4Perinatology Research Branch, NICHD/NIH/DHHS

JoVE 52866


 Immunology and Infection

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