Effects of litter size on behavioral development in mice

Reprod Toxicol. Nov-Dec 1998;12(6):613-7. doi: 10.1016/s0890-6238(98)00045-8.


The effect of litter size on behavioral development was investigated in 1384 offspring from 114 litters of CD-1 control mice. Litters were classified in four groups of size: 5 to 7 (I), 8 to 10 (II), 11 to 13 (III), and 14 to 17 (IV). Group III was regarded as the control group. The offspring were examined for behavioral development including surface righting at Postnatal Days (PND) 4 and 7, negative geotaxis at PNDs 4 and 7, cliff avoidance at PND 7, swimming behavior at PNDs 4 and 14, and olfactory orientation at PND 14. In behavioral development, surface righting at PND 7 was significantly affected in group I. Swimming direction at PND 4 was significantly affected in group IV, and those effects showed significant tendencies to be retarded as litter size increased. Other measured parameters showed no significant effect of litter size.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Female
  • Litter Size / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Smell / physiology*
  • Swimming / physiology*