Authors: Gizelle Godinez, Sarim Mobin, Malcolm Maden, Dr. Justin Varholick
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Justin Varholick
College: College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Agonistic, fighting, behavior stimulates the stress response and can be frequently observed between cage-mates of African Spiny mice. They are also recognized for their ability to heal tissue with regeneration rather than heal through scarring, which typically occurs in all other mammals. Previous research indicates that stress adversely affects the process of healing.With the use of Spiny mice as a model for regeneration, it is imperative to understand and ultimately account for the effects of agonistic behavior in the home-cage on the rate of regeneration. We hypothesized that cages with higher amounts of agonistic behavior would have delayed rates of regeneration compared to cages with less agonistic behavior. The methods of this experiment included a series of 72 hours of video coding per week for two weeks for each cage to reliably determine agonistic behavior frequencies and if any dominance ranks existed. To measure regeneration rates, a 4mm hole was made in the ear of each mouse and measurements were taken every five days until full regeneration was achieved. Our main findings were that dominance ranks were present within every cage and animals that experienced higher amounts of agonistic behavior had overall slower rates of regeneration.