Automated Home Cages

Investigations of rodent behaviour in the context of efficacy/safety studies and behavioural phenotyping of new models strongly benefit from automated monitoring systems with 24/7 video tracking.

Home cage phenotyping

Automated home-cages allow automated collection and analysis of behaviour. Behavioural testing at a higher cost efficiency is guaranteed by vast reductions in the required man-hours to conduct experiments and collect, analyze, and visualize the data. No human intervention is required for behavioural testing in a home-cage environment. This also reduces stress of the animal, thereby facilitating high sensitivity and reproducibility of behavioral testing.

PhenoTyper® cages for mice and rats

Sylics’ automated screening tools are optimized for PhenoTyper® cages for mice and rats. Our automated testing protocols and cloud-based analysis software AHCODA™ are optimized for use with PhenoTyper® home-cages, produced by the Dutch company Noldus IT, market leader in video tracking software and instruments for animal behaviour research. Phenotypers allow continuous video tracking of rodents in a standardized environment that can be customized with a variety of add-ons, such as the CognitionWall™. Together with Sylics’ automated screening tools, these form an innovative, comprehensive and reliable basis for performing automated behavioural screens.

Development and validation of new testing protocols

To take full advantage of automated home-cages such as the PhenoTyper, a dedicated testing protocol is required focussing on the behaviors of interest. Sylics and collaborators have already optimized and validated a number of protocols, but we're still developing new ones. Depending on the chosen service contract, users of AHCODA services will gain access to these new protocols as soon as we publish them. Please contact us directly if you are interested in the development a particular protocol, or if you are looking to collaborate with us to automate the analyses of your protocol.

At Sylics, several PhenoTyper testing protocols have been developed to measure spontaneous behavior, anxiety (LightSpot tets), avoidance learning (Shelter illumination) and discrimination and reversal learning (CognitionWall). AHCODA is used to analyse the data produced by these testing protocol into meaningful publication ready figures and statistics.

Remmelink et al. (2016) Genes Brain Behav

Cognitive flexibility deficits in a mouse model for the absence of full-length dystrophin. Remmelink E, Aartsma-Rus A, Smit AB, Verhage M, Loos M, van Putten M. Genes Brain Behav. 2016 Jul;15(6):558-67. doi: 10.1111/gbb.12301. PMID: 27220066.

Keywords: Dystrophin, Duchenne, neuromuscular disorder, muscle disease

Aarts et al (2015) Behav Brain Res

Measuring anxiety in mice in an automated home-cage environment. Aarts E, Maroteaux G, Loos M, Koopmans B, Kovačević J, Smit AB, Verhage M, Sluis Sv; Neuro-BSIK Mouse Phenomics Consortium. The light spot test: Behav Brain Res. 2015 Nov 1;294:123-30. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2015.06.011. Epub 2015 Jun 10. PMID: 26072393.

Loos et al (2015) Mamm Genome

Within-strain variation in behavior differs consistently between common inbred strains of mice. Loos M, Koopmans B, Aarts E, Maroteaux G, van der Sluis S; Neuro-BSIK Mouse Phenomics Consortium, Verhage M, Smit AB. Mamm Genome. 2015 Aug;26(7-8):348-54. doi: 10.1007/s00335-015-9578-7. Epub 2015 Jun 28. PMID: 26123533.

Remmelink et al. (2015) Behav Brain Res

A 1-night operant learning task without food-restriction differentiates among mouse strains in an automated home-cage environment. Remmelink E, Loos M, Koopmans B, Aarts E, van der Sluis S, Smit AB, Verhage M; Neuro-BSIK Mouse Phenomics Consortium. Behav Brain Res. 2015 Apr 15;283:53-60. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2015.01.020. Epub 2015 Jan 17. PMID: 25601577.

Loos, Koopmans et al (2014) Plos One

Sheltering behavior and locomotor activity in 11 genetically diverse common inbred mouse strains using home-cage monitoring. Loos M, Koopmans B, Aarts E, Maroteaux G, van der Sluis S; Neuro-BSIK Mouse Phenomics Consortium, Verhage M, Smit AB. PLoS One. 2014 Sep 29;9(9):e108563. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0108563. PMID: 25264768; PMCID: PMC4180925.

Seigers et al (2015) Psychopharmacology (Berl)

Cognitive impact of cytotoxic agents in mice. Seigers R, Loos M, Van Tellingen O, Boogerd W, Smit AB, Schagen SB. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2015 Jan;232(1):17-37. doi: 10.1007/s00213-014-3636-9. Epub 2014 Jun 4. PMID: 24894481.

Kramvis et al. (2013) Front Behav Neurosci

Hyperactivity, perseveration and increased responding during attentional rule acquisition in the Fragile X mouse model. Kramvis I, Mansvelder HD, Loos M, Meredith R. Front Behav Neurosci. 2013 Nov 21;7:172. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2013.00172. PMID: 24312033; PMCID: PMC3836024.

Maroteaux et al. (2012) Genes Brain Behav

High-throughput phenotyping of avoidance learning in mice discriminates different genotypes and identifies a novel gene. Maroteaux G, Loos M, van der Sluis S, Koopmans B, Aarts E, van Gassen K, Geurts A; NeuroBSIK Mouse Phenomics Consortium, Largaespada DA, Spruijt BM, Stiedl O, Smit AB, Verhage M. Genes Brain Behav. 2012 Oct;11(7):772-84. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-183X.2012.00820.x. Epub 2012 Aug 2. PMID: 22846151; PMCID: PMC3508728.

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