Variation in stress reactivity affects cage-induced stereotypies in female CD-1 (ICR) mice

Engel, A.K.J.; Gross, A.N.; Richter, S.H.; Rommen, J.; Touma, C.; Wurbel, H. (2011). Variation in stress reactivity affects cage-induced stereotypies in female CD-1 (ICR) mice. Applied animal behaviour science, 133(1-2), pp. 101-108. Amsterdam: Elsevier 10.1016/j.applanim.2011.04.017

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Stereotypies in captive animals typically occur under conditions that are stressful for the animals, and there is some anecdotal evidence that stress levels during early stereotypy development predict later stereotypy levels. Based on this and on the involvement of stress in the behavioural sensitization to psychostimulant drugs, it has been hypothesized that stereotypy development might be causally related to stress. To address this question further, we used mice of the commercial outbred stock CD-1 (ICR) and mice of two lines derived from the outbred CD-1 (ICR) strain by selective breeding for high (HR) and low (LR) stress reactivity, respectively, and examined whether genetically driven variation in stress reactivity is associated with variation in the expression of cage-induced stereotypies. From 21 days of age, 10 females of each line were housed in pairs under standard laboratory conditions until they were video recorded for stereotypic behaviour and tested for corticosterone responses in a stress reactivity test (SRT) at 12 weeks of age. As expected, HR females showed a significantly stronger corticosterone response in the SRT than LR females, while ICR females were intermediate. Unexpectedly, however, both HR and LR females showed very low levels of stereotypic behaviour, while ICR females developed the high levels of stereotypies typical for this strain of mouse. Consequently, there was no significant relationship between measures of acute corticosterone reactivity and stereotypy performance, but a trend for reduced recovery of the corticosterone response in the ICR line suggests that variation in recovery rather than the acute response might predict stereotypy levels in these mice. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Public Health Institute > Animal Welfare Division

UniBE Contributor:

Würbel, Hanno








Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:32

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:10

Publisher DOI:


Web of Science ID:


URI: (FactScience: 218602)

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