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NC3Rs webinar: Food restriction in rodent studies – is it necessary and how could it affect your data and animal welfare?
Food restriction is a commonly used procedure in both academic and industry settings. For example, in preclinical toxicology studies and basic research animals are often fasted prior to blood sampling to ensure a standard baseline and enable between animal comparisons. Food restriction is also widely used in the field of neuroscience to motivate performance in behavioural tasks that involve a food reward. It is crucial that food restriction paradigms are carefully designed, and that animal welfare is closely monitored throughout periods of food restriction, to avoid excessive weight loss and/or other adverse effects. Fasting can also lead to the induction of daily torpor, a physiological state in which various species including mice, can enter a state of supressed metabolic activity and hypothermia lasting for a few hours each day. The consequences and physiological significance of these periods of torpor are unknown but could likely contribute to the lack of reproducibility currently observed across in vivo research. Recently there have been questions raised by the scientific community as to whether food restriction is always necessary, and if so, what would be an appropriate duration of the food restriction to improve welfare outcomes while maintaining scientific rigor.

This webinar will address the scientific and welfare implications of using food restriction with rodents. The webinar will feature presentations from academic and industry experts in the fields of preclinical diabetes, daily torpor and regulatory toxicology. This will include coverage of where the use of shorter, more refined food restriction paradigms (or the removal of food restriction altogether) have been shown to have positive welfare outcomes, while also resulting in more reliable and reproducible data. Lastly, a new automated system for monitoring food intake in socially housed mice, initially developed through the Moshers CRACK IT Challenge by the team at Resear

May 4, 2022 02:00 PM in London

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