Core Services : Mouse behavioral core (MBC)

Mouse behavioral core (MBC)

The HIHG mouse Behavioral Core (MBC) provides planning, execution, and analysis of behavioral experiments examining activity, arousal, coordinated movement, learning and memory, anxiety, depression, seizure susceptibility, reward/reinforcement, aggression and motor abilities in mice. Additional tests can potentially be developed on a case-by-case basis. The Mouse Behavioral Core also offers several rodent surgical services and assistance in IACUC protocol preparation.

The MBC is located in the BRB building, within the barrier rodent vivarium facility. The HIHG has already assigned 4 suites for housing mice in an exclusive way. We can house more than 3,500 mice if necessary. Facilities for rodents include full barrier, air shower upon entrance and exit, individually ventilated racks, full cage washing and autoclaving facilities, set up for automatic watering, ample procedure space, necropsy facilities, and isolation areas.

The MBC facility consists of 4 rooms, including a procedure room, a designated housing room maintained on a 12-hr light/dark cycle, and two rooms for behavioral testing.

The MBC facility has experienced personnel and multiple capabilities for measuring the behavior of mice, including exploratory activity and anxiety-related behaviors (open field, light dark and plus maze tests); learning and memory (fear conditioning and Morris water maze), social related behaviors (three chamber test, tube test, nonsocial and social odors recognition); sensorimotor (dowel, rotating rod, hot plate) and strength (strength meter), and videotracking systems for use with a variety of mazes used for measurement of learning, memory, anxiety, social interactions, and other measures of mouse behavior. A nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscope was recently acquired to measure metabolic changes in life mice.

All procedures are conducted in strict accordance with the National Research Council Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, as adopted by the National Institutes of Health, and are approved by the University of Miami Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).
Most tests can be performed in 4 animals at a time, allowing a high throughput. Specific equipment and behavior testing includes:

  • Homecage activity monitoring – circadian locomotor activity
  • Open-field activity – exploratory activity and anxiety-related behavior
  • Light-dark exploration – anxiety-related behavior
  • Elevated plus maze – anxiety-related behavior
  • Rotarod – motor coordination and skill learning
  • Grip strength meter – forelimb motor function
  • Wire-hang and dowel tests – motor function
  • Hotplate – analgesic-related responses
  • Tail suspension – depression-related behavior
  • Fear conditioning – learning and memory
  • Passive avoidance – learning and memory
  • T-maze – learning and memory
  • Morris water maze – learning and memory
  • Three chamber test- social behavior
  • Social Interactions – social behaviors
  • Tube test – social behaviors
  • Habituation/dishabituation for non-social and social odors recognition/ preference – social behaviors