Citric Acid Water as an Alternative to Water Restriction for High-Yield Mouse Behavior.

Urai, Anne E, Aguillon-Rodriguez, Valeria, Laranjeira, Inês C, Cazettes, Fanny, International Brain Laboratory, , Mainen, Zachary F, Churchland, Anne K (January 2021) Citric Acid Water as an Alternative to Water Restriction for High-Yield Mouse Behavior. eNeuro, 8 (1). pp. 1-8. ISSN 2373-2822

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URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/33431508
DOI: 10.1523/ENEURO.0230-20.2020

Abstract

Powerful neural measurement and perturbation tools have positioned mice as an ideal species for probing the neural circuit mechanisms of cognition. Crucial to this success is the ability to motivate animals to perform specific behaviors. One successful strategy is to restrict their water intake, rewarding them with water during a behavioral task. However, water restriction requires rigorous monitoring of animals' health and hydration status and can be challenging for some mice. We present an alternative that allows mice more control over their water intake: free home-cage access to water, made slightly sour by a small amount of citric acid (CA). In a previous study, rats with free access to CA water readily performed a behavioral task for water rewards, although completing fewer trials than under water restriction (Reinagel, 2018). We here extend this approach to mice and confirm its robustness across multiple laboratories. Mice reduced their intake of CA water while maintaining healthy weights. Continuous home-cage access to CA water only subtly impacted their willingness to perform a decision-making task, in which they were rewarded with sweetened water. When free CA water was used instead of water restriction only on weekends, learning and decision-making behavior were unaffected. CA water is thus a promising alternative to water restriction, allowing animals more control over their water intake without interfering with behavioral performance.

Item Type: Paper
Subjects: organism description > animal behavior
organism description > animal > mammal > rodent > mouse
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Churchland lab
SWORD Depositor: CSHL Elements
Depositing User: CSHL Elements
Date: January 2021
Date Deposited: 03 May 2021 14:53
Last Modified: 03 May 2021 15:08
PMCID: PMC7890523
Related URLs:
URI: https://repository.cshl.edu/id/eprint/39969

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