Handling of rat pups for 5 min once a week prior to weaning to permit weighing of the litter significantly delays vaginal opening and ovulation and is associated with a reduction in the response to an ether stress administered at 60 days of age. Handling combined with replacement of the bedding material results in a further delay in puberty and a further reduction in the stress response. It is therefore necessary to follow uniform handling procedures in any study of a developmental process.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Behavioral Neuroscience