Significant Improvement in Survival of Tabby Jimpy Mutant Mice by Providing Folded-paper Nest Boxes

  • Tohru Kimura Center for Experimental Animals, National Institutes of Natural Sciences
  • Mitsuko Kubota Center for Experimental Animals, National Institutes of Natural Sciences
  • Hiroyuki Watanabe


There is little scientific evidence that environmental enrichment meets the physiological needs for laboratory  animals. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether the provision of nest boxes improved the lifespan  of Tabby jimpy (Ta-jp) mutant mice carrying a lethal gene. Nest boxes tested in this study were small  folded-paper trapezoid-shaped houses. The Nest box group was reared in cages with the nest boxes and  the Control group was raised in only standard cages. Weaning results and survival rates in Ta-jp mice were  compared between both groups. By the weaning stage, all of the Ta-jp mice survived in the Nest box group.  There was a significant difference in weaning rates between both groups. The body weight of weanlings  demonstrated a significant difference between both groups. The survival analysis indicated that the Nest  box group (29.9 days) significantly had a longer lifespan than the Control group (25.7 days). The Nest box  group developed few abnormal jumping behaviours. The nest boxes served as shelters from environmental  stimuli. In conclusion, we confirmed that folded-paper nest boxes had a beneficial effect on weaning rates  of Ta-jp mice. Our results revealed that there was significant improvement in survival of Ta-jp mice using  the nest boxes.