The prevalence of osteoarthritis in wild versus captive great ape skeletons

This research examined whether the prevalence and skeletal distribution of osteoarthritis (OA) differed between wild and captive great ape skeletons. A secondary, but important, aspect of this research focused on the development of improved aging techniques based on methods commonly used on human osteological samples. Tests were conducted pertaining to the effect that wild versus […]

Early behavioural enrichment in the form of handling renders mouse pups unresponsive to anxiolytic drugs and increases NGF levels in the hippocampus

Early life experiences, such as early handling, can influence neural development of rodents leading to changes in physiological and behavioural reactivity to stress. These effects are likely to be mediated by changes in maternal behaviour. This study analyzed the effects of different manipulations of the rearing environment on maternal behaviour and the behavioural and physiological […]

Animal models for information processing during sleep

Information provided by external stimuli does reach the brain during sleep, although the amount of information is reduced during sleep compared to wakefulness. The process controlling this reduction is called ‘sensory’ gating and evidence exists that the underlying neurophysiological processes take place in the thalamus. Furthermore, it is clear that stimuli given during sleep can […]

Activity patterns as a correlate for sleep–wake behaviour in mice

Sleep–wake behaviour in mice is known to interact with various behavioural dimensions. Therefore, it is necessary to control for such dimensions when evaluating sleep in mice. The characterisation of sleep in rodents usually is based on EEG signals. Since this method demands the invasive implantation of electrodes, it cannot be integrated into general behavioural phenotyping […]

Effects of sleep deprivation on immunological responses in animal models

Although sleep occupies one third of our lives and is a vital function in the maintenance of a healthy life, the number of people exposed to sleep deprivation (SD) is increasing in modern society. It is believed that sleep is essential in the recovery from illness, and that SD is detrimental to multiple physiological processes. […]

Neural plasticity, neuropeptides and anxiety in animals — implications for understanding and treating affective disorder following traumatic stress in humans

Exposure of rats to cats (predator stress) lastingly increases rodent anxiety-like behavior (ALB) in the elevated plus-maze. Previous work shows that lasting changes in ALB following predator stress depend on NMDA and CCKB receptors. In this paper we describe the effects of differing degrees of predator exposure on behavior. Effects depend on the behavioral measure. […]

Behavioral and physiological characterization of male mice under chronic psychosocial stress

Social stress is a major factor in the etiology of several psychopathologies, with individuals greatly differing in vulnerability. The development of appropriate animal models of social stress is, thus, a major challenge of modern bio-medical research. Adult male mice were subjected to a new model of chronic psychosocial stress in which resident/intruder dyads live chronically […]

Acute effects of neurosteroids in a rodent model of primary paroxysmal dystonia

The pathophysiology of various types of dyskinesias, including dystonias, is poorly understood. Clinical and epidemiological studies in humans revealed that the severity of dyskinesias and the frequency of paroxysmal forms of the disease are altered by factors such as the onset of puberty, pregnancy, cyclical changes and stress, indicating an underlying hormonal component. The dystonic […]

The evolution of senescence from a comparative perspective

1. Comparative studies of ageing address the evolutionary lability of the rate of ageing as an indication of potential for, and constraints on, the extension of life span. 2. Experimental studies on ageing have focused on damage induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS) and other stresses, and on the mechanisms to prevent or repair this […]

Painful dilemmas: the ethics of animal-based pain research

While it has the potential to deliver important human benefits, animal-based pain research raises ethical questions, because it involves inducing pain in sentient beings. Ethical decision-making, connected with this variety of research, requires informed harm-benefit analysis, and the aim of this paper is to provide information for such an analysis. We present an overview of […]