PubMed | Istitituto Superiore di Sanita
Type: | Journal: Current protocols in toxicology | Year: 2012
The aim of this unit is to provide a set of fundamental protocols to assess maternal behavior in rats and mice. Parental behavior in rodents is characterized by a rather complex set of behavioral items, which are described in great detail. A special emphasis has been placed on listing the many intervening variables that can bias the correct assessment of maternal behavior and the modifications to that behavior resulting from exposure to drugs or toxic compounds. Because changes in maternal behavior can be very subtle, the accuracy of the protocols can enhance the likelihood of detecting minor differences in behavior resulting from the experimental procedures. In addition, some suggestions are given on the most appropriate methods of data collection and their statistical analysis.