Resource | Published:

Care of Mastomys in the laboratory

Lab Animal volume 45, pages 219224 (2016) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

Mastomys rodents occupy a valuable niche in biomedical research, but there is very little published information regarding how to care for them in the laboratory. Here we provide information about the physical and behavioral characteristics of this unusual laboratory rodent, its taxonomic history, common diseases that affect it, and its use in research. We also provide housing recommendations based upon almost 15 years of experience successfully maintaining a colony of Mastomys coucha at our institution.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    , , Autoimmune thyroiditis. Spontaneous autoimmune thyroiditis in Praomys (Mastomys) coucha. Am. J. Pathol. 119, 345–349 (1985).

  2. 2.

    & Wild and Black Rats. in The Laboratory Rat 2nd edn (eds. Suckow, M.A., Weisbroth, S.H. & Franklin, C.L.) 865–883 (Elsevier, Boston, 2006).

  3. 3.

    , , , & Praomys (Mastomys) natalensis: A model for gastric carcinoid formation. Yale J. Biol. Med. 65, 741–751 (1992).

  4. 4.

    , & Biology and diseases of other rodents. in Laboratory Animal Medicine 3rd edn (eds. Fox, J.G., Anderson, L.C, Otto, G.M., Pritchett-Corning, K.R. & Whary, M.T.) 286–352 (Academic Press, San Diego, 2015).

  5. 5.

    The behaviour of the multimammate mouse, Rattus (Mastomys) natalensis (a. Smith). Anim. Behav. 6, 195–206 (1958).

  6. 6.

    & The multimammate mouse Rattus (Mastomys) natalensis smith: A laboratory-adapted African wild rodent. P. Zool. Soc. Lond. 131, 293–299 (1958).

  7. 7.

    Walker's Mammals of the World (Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1999).

  8. 8.

    & The normal occurrence, structure and homology of prostate glands in adult female Mastomys erythroleucus temm. J. Anat. 75, 64–74 (1940).

  9. 9.

    & Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 2005).

  10. 10.

    , , , & Mastomys natalensis or Mastomys coucha. Correct species designation in animal experiments. Trop. Med. Parasitol. 41, 219–220 (1990).

  11. 11.

    , , & Systematics of the genus Mastomys (Thomas, 1915) (Rodentia: Muridae): A review. Belg. J. Zool. 127, 7–18 (1997).

  12. 12.

    The ecology of Praomys (Mastomys) natalensis in southern Africa. Bull. World. Health. Organ. 52, 629–636 (1975).

  13. 13.

    Diet, seasonal abundance and microhabitats of Praomys (Mastomys) natalensis (rodentia: Muridae) and other small rodents in a kenyan sub-humid grassland community. Afr. J. Ecol. 33, 211–223 (1995).

  14. 14.

    The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species version (IUCN, Cambridge, UK, 2014).

  15. 15.

    , & Diagnostic morphometrics of two medically important southern African rodents, Mastomys natalensis and M. coucha. S. Afr. J. Sci. 89, 300–303 (1993).

  16. 16.

    , & Daily rhythms of body temperature and heat production of sibling Mastomys species from different ecosystems—the response to photoperiod manipulations. Comp. Biochem. Phys. A. 151, 505–510 (2008).

  17. 17.

    et al. Persistence of Mastomys natalensis papillomavirus in multiple organs identifies novel targets for infection. J. Gen. Virol. 88, 2670–2678 (2007).

  18. 18.

    et al. Serological markers for papillomavirus infection and skin tumour development in the rodent model. Mastomys coucha. J. Gen. Virol. 92, 383–394 (2011).

  19. 19.

    et al. Protective vaccination against papillomavirus-induced skin tumors under immunocompetent and immunosuppressive conditions: A preclinical study using a natural outbred animal model. PLoS Path. 10, e1003924 (2014).

  20. 20.

    et al. Global expression analysis of ECL cells in Mastomys natalensis gastric mucosa identifies alterations in the AP-1 pathway induced by gastrin-mediated transformation. Physiol. Genomics 20, 131–142 (2004).

  21. 21.

    et al. The effect of colonisation by Helicobacter pylori in Praomys (Mastomys) natalensis on the incidence of carcinoids. J. Med. Microbiol. 51, 777–785 (2002).

  22. 22.

    et al. A novel enterohepatic Helicobacter species 'Helicobacter mastomyrinus' isolated from the liver and intestine of rodents. Helicobacter 10, 59–70 (2005).

  23. 23.

    , , , & Ultrastructure of ECL cells in Mastomys after long-term treatment with H2 receptor antagonist loxtidine. Med. Mol. Morphol. 45, 80–85 (2012).

  24. 24.

    et al. Immunohistochemical evidence for an impairment of autophagy in tumorigenesis of gastric carcinoids and adenocarcinomas in rodent models and patients. Histol. Histopathol. 28, 531–542 (2013).

  25. 25.

    et al. Biochemical genetic markers to identify two morphologically similar South African Mastomys species (rodentia: Muridae). Biochem. Syst. Ecol. 29, 21–30 (2001).

  26. 26.

    & Isozyme and allozyme markers distinguishing two morphologically similar, medically important Mastomys species (rodentia: Muridae). BMC Genetics 2, 15 (2001).

  27. 27.

    & Mastomys (=Praomys) natalensis is not a Rattus (mammalia: Rodentia): Karyological evidence. Cytogenet. Cell. Genet. 28, 95–103 (1980).

  28. 28.

    et al. Chromosomal and protein evolution in morphologically similar species of Praomys sensu lato (rodentia, muridae). J. Hered. 81, 58–65 (1990).

  29. 29.

    The biology, behaviour, and ecology of Mastomys natalensis in southern Africa. Bull. World. Health. Organ. 52, 637–644 (1975).

  30. 30.

    , , , & Mastomys natalensis. in The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species version (IUCN, Cambridge, UK, 2010).

  31. 31.

    & Diet quality differentially affects breeding effort of Mastomys coucha and M. natalensis: Implications for rodent pests. J. Exp. Zool. 301, 97–108 (2004).

  32. 32.

    Rodent pest problems and management in eastern Africa. FAO Plant. Protect. B. 36, 125–134 (1988).

  33. 33.

    , & A note on the ecological role of Praomys natalensis. S. Afr. J. Sci. 75, 183–184 (1979).

  34. 34.

    The effect of fire on a small mammal community. S. Afr. J. Zool. 16, 232–236 (1981).

  35. 35.

    Maintenance and breeding problems of Mastomys. in Praomys (Mastomys) natalensis (eds. Soga, J. & Sato, H.) (Daiichi Printing Co., Niigata, Japan, 1977).

  36. 36.

    , & An analysis of stereotyped behaviour in Mastomys natalensis. N-S Arch. Pharmacol. 337, 572–575 (1988).

  37. 37.

    et al. The Mastomys natalensis papillomavirus: Nucleotide sequence, genome organization, and phylogenetic relationship of a rodent papillomavirus involved in tumorigenesis of cutaneous epithelia. Virology 198, 534–541 (1994).

  38. 38.

    , & Tumour induction in the rodent Mastomys natalensis by activation of endogenous papilloma virus genomes. Nature 308, 291–292 (1984).

  39. 39.

    & Mastomys natalensis papilloma virus (mnpv), the causative agent of epithelial proliferations: characterization of the virus particle. J. Gen. Virol. 41, 315–323 (1978).

  40. 40.

    , , & Naturally occurring autoantibodies in aged Praomys (Mastomys) natalensis. Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 19, 238–249 (1981).

  41. 41.

    & Spontaneous diseases in a closed colony of Praomys (Mastomys) natalensis. Bull. World Health Organ. 52, 645–650 (1975).

  42. 42.

    , , , & Novel flushing provoked by volatile anesthetics in Mastomys natalensis bearing a transplantable substrain of gastric carcinoid that predominantly secretes serotonin. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 72, 1437–1442 (1984).

Download references

Acknowledgements

We thank the Rodent Services Unit in the Yale Animal Resources Center for sharing their experience managing the breeding colonies of Mastomys over the years. In particular, Tom Nuzzo provided valuable input on breeding and coordinated the projects to assess various enrichment strategies and measure intra-cage environmental parameters to assess adequate cage change frequency. Cathy King from the Yale Office of Environmental Health and Safety performed the intra-cage ammonia and carbon dioxide measurements associated with this project. We also thank Mark Kidd, the most recent PI of the Mastomys projects, who collaborated with us in assessing various environmental conditions as well as evaluating perioperative strategies to address post-operative complications. We also appreciate his thoughtful review of this manuscript.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Comparative Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

    • Jodi Scholz
  2. Section of Comparative Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.

    • Steven Wilson

Authors

  1. Search for Jodi Scholz in:

  2. Search for Steven Wilson in:

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jodi Scholz.

About this article

Publication history

Received

Accepted

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/laban.1018