In a groundbreaking study, researchers have leveraged the Digital Ventilated Cage (DVC®) system to characterize the behavioral patterns of different mouse strains in a novel way. The study by Sara Fuochi and her team focused on three widely used mouse strains—C57BL/6NCrl, BALB/cAnNCrl, and CRL:CD1(ICR).
The DVC® system was used to monitor the home-cage spatial preferences of these mice strains, starting from the first-hour post cage change until the next cage change, for three consecutive intervals. This approach helped to profile the circadian home-cage behavioral phenotypes of the mice, providing valuable insights into their behavior.
One key finding was identifying strain-specific biological phenomena, such as activity along the cage walls and frontality. This was achieved by repurposing vast data reserves generated by previous experimental data, demonstrating the potential of data repurposing to enhance the Reduction principle in in-vivo studies.
The study also highlighted the need for a strain-oriented approach when defining the frequency of cage change and maximum allowed animal density. The researchers suggest that these factors should be revised according to the physiological peculiarities of the strains, avoiding a "one size fits all" approach.
This research provides a deeper understanding of mouse behavior and underscores the potential of data repurposing in life sciences. It sets the stage for a re-analysis of the same data at later stages, to improve understanding and answer questions that were not posed during the first analysis.