Objective: Ethical decisions about an allowance for animal experiments need to be based on scientifically sound information about the burden and distress associated with the experimental procedure and models. Thereby, species differences need to be considered for recommendations regarding evidence-based severity assessment and refinement measures.
Methods: A comprehensive analysis of behavioral patterns and corticosterone or its metabolites in serum and feces was completed in kindled mice. The impact of kindling via two different stimulation sites in the amygdala and hippocampus was determined. Data were compared to those from naive and electrode-implanted groups.
Results: Amygdala and hippocampus kindled mice exhibited comparable behavioral patterns with increased activity in the open field, reduced anxiety-associated behavior in the elevated-plus maze, and increased anhedonia-associated behavior in the saccharin preference test. In addition, repeated stimulation of the hippocampus caused a reduction in burrowing behavior and an increase in active social interaction. Levels of corticosterone and its metabolites were not altered in serum or feces, respectively. A comparison of mouse data with findings from amygdala kindled rats confirmed pronounced species differences in behavioral patterns associated with the kindling process.
Significance: Taken together the findings suggest a severity classification for the mouse kindling paradigms as moderate regardless of the stimulation site. The outcome of the species comparison provides valuable guidance for species selection for studies exploring behavioral comorbidities. In this context, it is emphasized that the mouse kindling paradigms seem to be well suited for studies exploring the link between ictal events and network alterations on the one hand, and hyperactivity and anhedonia-associated behavior on the other hand. Moreover, the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms and the impact of therapeutic interventions on these behavioral alterations can be studied in these paradigms providing guidance for the clinical management of respective psychiatric comorbidities in patients.
Keywords: 3R; Animal model; Behavior; Epilepsy; Stress.
Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.