Case Studies in Home Cage Monitoring: Rodent Behavior, Circadian Biology and Animal Welfare

Case Studies in Home Cage Monitoring: Rodent Behavior, Circadian Biology and Animal Welfare


Kenneth Dyar and Joanna Moore present applications of automated home cage activity monitoring and discuss how it can be used to improve animal welfare, optimize study design and drive animal behavior and physiology research. 

Automated home cage behavioral monitoring is receiving increasing attention from the scientific community because of its benefits with regards to translational research, data replicability and animal welfare. In this webinar, Kenneth Dyar (Helmholtz Diabetes Center) and Joanna Moore (GSK) discuss how home cage monitoring can be used to reduce animal stress, optimize methodology and guide physiology and animal behavior research.

Passive locomotor activity monitoring for real-time circadian study design
Kenneth Dyar, PhD
Circadian clocks are fundamental determinants of physiology, behavior and health. For skeletal muscle, the circadian clock promotes insulin sensitivity and orchestrates rhythms of glucose, lipid, and amino acid metabolism. Physical activity synchronizes circadian clocks by altering body temperature and through distribution of various hormones and metabolites. Research suggests that misalignment of the ‘muscle clock’ plays an important pathophysiological role in metabolic disease. In this webinar, Dr. Kenneth Dyar highlights some examples of how the DVC system can be used for locomotor activity monitoring in order to evaluate circadian alignment before, during or after various dietary and pharmacological interventions.

Using home-cage monitoring to determine the impact of timed mating on male mouse welfare
Joanna Moore, PhD, FIAT, R.An.Tech
The use of sterile male mice to induce pseudopregnancy in female mice assigned for the implantation of embryos is a vital component in the production of Genetically Altered Animals (GAA). This process involves swapping a genetically sterile male’s female companion for a new female. In this presentation, Dr. Joanna Moore discusses the use of home cage activity monitoring to evaluate the potential impact of this procedure on the welfare of male mice and how the impact of this intervention may be reduced. All animal studies were ethically reviewed and carried out in accordance with the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 and the GSK Policy on the Care, Welfare and Treatment of Animals.

Key topics will include…

  • Using home cage activity as a readout for animal welfare
  • Using locomotor activity to optimize methodology and validate study design in real-time
  • Pre-study screening of cohorts for outliers

To download a PDF copy of the presentation, click on the “LinkedIn SlideShare” icon located in the bottom-right corner of the slide-viewer. From the SlideShare landing page click the “Download” button to retrieve the file.

About the Presenters:

Kenneth Dyar, PhD
Senior Scientist,
Helmholtz Diabetes Center

Kenneth Dyar is focused on elucidating the various physiological processes controlled by the intrinsic skeletal muscle circadian clock, and identifying pathogenic mechanisms associated with circadian misalignment. Using a combination of in vivo functional genomics (ChIP-seq + RNA-seq), metabolomics, and targeted metabolic assays, he has uncovered how extrinsic signals, including metabolites, hormones, and neural cues interact with the core clock machinery to orchestrate 24-hr rhythms of gene expression and metabolism. He completed his PhD studies in Cellular Biology under the supervision of Stefano Schiaffino at the University of Padova and at the Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine in Italy.

Joanna Moore has been working with laboratory animals for over 20 years, with a special interest in their welfare and care. Dr. Moore has worked in academia and industry and was awarded a PhD in Animal Sciences in 2018. Through the use of Home Cage technology, she has continued to build on her research for the welfare of animals in order to help researchers to further understand the motivation and needs of animals in their care.