Laboratory rodents are typically kept in animal housing rooms set at temperatures between 20-22ºC as recommended by the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. The rodent thermoneutral zone (TNZ) is a range of temperatures where rodents can maintain their body temperature and do not expend energy to warm or cool themselves. The TNZ of the mouse is 29-34ºC. Housing rodents in temperatures lower than their TNZ subjects them to cold stress, which leads to changes in their physiology, behavior, and immune function. The aim of this study was to explore the potential for the heated Optimice® Smart System Rack to offset physiological & behavioral effects in cold-stressed mice. In particular, what effect (if any) does supplemental heat supplied by the rack have on breeding, behavior, nest building and anesthetic recovery in laboratory mice?
Keywords: thermoneutral zone, USB power, heated mouse cages, SMART System
Citation: Gruenwald, SR, Del Valle, JMD, Hankenson, FC. Effects of Supplemental Heat When Provided to Rodent Housing Units. 2018 National Veterinary Scholars Symposium