Behavioral phenotyping of a murine model of Alzheimer's disease in a seminaturalistic environment using RFID tracking
Lars Lewejohann; Anne Marie Hoppmann; Philipp Kegel; Mareike Kritzler; Antonio Krüger; Norbert Sachser
In: Behavior Research Methods, Vol. 40, No. 3, Pages 850-856, The Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2009.
Neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) are increasingly threatening public health. Most animal models of AD consist of transgenic mice that are usually housed singly or in unisexual groups in small barren cages. Such restricted environments, however, prevent the mice from showing a variety of species-specific behaviors and consequently may constrain comprehensive behavioral phenotyping. On the other hand, allowing the animals to freely organize their lives in a spacious physically and socially enriched environment makes behavioral phenotyping laborious and time consuming. Radio frequency identification (RFID) using a network of antennae and small glass-coated transponders labeling each individual allows for gathering spatiotemporal information about a large number of individuals in parallel. The aim of this project was to use the RFID technique to facilitate the characterization of mice carrying a genetic disposition to develop AD-like pathology and of their wild-type conspecifics in a spacious seminaturalistic environment.