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Time of day and stress response to different stressors in experimental animals. Part I: Golden hamster (Mesocricetus auratus Waterhouse, 1839)

Time of day and stress response to different stressors in experimental animals. Part I: Golden hamster (Mesocricetus auratus Waterhouse, 1839)

Journal of Experimental Animal Science 38(2): 66-76

The present paper describes the effects of animal house routine stressors on adult golden hamsters during activity time (2 hrs after lights off) and rest time (2 hrs after lights on). In addition, for determination of norm values, the circadian rhythms of the stress indicators heart rate, core body temperature and general activity of unstressed animals were telemetrically registered via implanted transmitters. The three circadian patterns of the nocturnal golden hamster under L:D = 12:12 were unimodal with a main peak after lights off. The physiological norm values (mean over 24 hours +/-SD) were: heart rate 324 +/- 18 bpm, core body temperature 37.5 +/- 0.5 degrees C and activity 114 +/- 123 units/5 min. The mean body temperature of females was significantly higher (0.4 degree C) and its mean activity level was significantly (40%) lower than that of males. The stress responses were dependent on the time of day and on the kind of stressor. The stress responses were significantly stronger during the rest time of the animals (i.e. light period), and it resulted in the subsequent ranking of stressors: handling < vaginal smear < intruder/resident confrontation < cage changing < grouping. There were no sex-dependent stress response differences. The results of this study were compared with identical investigations on the social Mongolian gerbil (J. Exp. Anim. Sci. 1996/97; 38: No. 3).

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Accession: 047789048

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PMID: 9226964

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