#3 The effect of cage ventilation rate on the health of mice housed in Individually Ventilated Cages

  • Xiwei Wang Heilongjiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Laboratory Animal and Comparative Medicine, State Key Laboratory of Veterinary Biotechnology, Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Harbin, and College of Life Science and Technology, Mudanjiang Normal University, Mudanjiang, China.
  • Yuanyuan Zhang Heilongjiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Laboratory Animal and Comparative Medicine, State Key Laboratory of Veterinary Biotechnology, Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Harbin
  • Taofeng Lu Heilongjiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Laboratory Animal and Comparative Medicine, State Key Laboratory of Veterinary Biotechnology, Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Harbin
  • Jiancheng Qi Institute of Medical Equipment, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, National Engineering Research Center f or Biological Protective Equipment, Tianjin
  • Huairan Liu Heilongjiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Laboratory Animal and Comparative Medicine, State Key Laboratory of Veterinary Biotechnology, Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Harbin
  • Zhimin Jin College of Life Science and Technology, Mudanjiang Normal University, Mudanjiang
  • Hongyan Chen Heilongjiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Laboratory Animal and Comparative Medicine, State Key Laboratory of Veterinary Biotechnology, Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Harbin

Abstract

The number of air changes per hour (ACH), an important index for individually ventilated cages (IVC), strongly affects the cage microenvironment and the health of laboratory animals. The objective of this study was to determine whether high or low cage ventilation adversely affects the health of mice housed in IVC systems and to identify cage ventilation rates suitable for the welfare of mice. We tested three different cage ventilation rates (40, 60, and 80 ACH) for 3 weeks in an IVC system. The temperature, relative humidity and ammonia concentrations in the cages were measured daily. The indices used to assess mouse health at specific time points throughout the study were body weight, stress hormones, T lymphocyte subsets (CD4 and CD8), immunoglobulins (IgG, IgM and IgA) and immune cells. There were no significant differences in body weight, growth hormones, immunoglobulin and T lymphocyte subsets in the IVC groups compared with the control group. The concentrations of corticosterone and epinephrine on day 7 of cage ventilation at 80 ACH were significantly higher than those in the control group (P < 0.05). Mice housed in 80 ACH cages had the lowest immune cell counts among all groups, and the numbers of lymphocytes and neutrophils were significantly lower than those in the control group (P < 0.05). In summary, cage ventilation at 60 ACH provided an optimum cage microenvironment for mouse health and welfare.

Published
2019-07-09
Section
Articles