BOX 4-1Are Rodents Ideal Research Models?


  • Rodents typically live <2 years, which facilitates aging studies.
  • The small size of rodents allows many animals to be maintained in a limited space.
  • In some cases, rodents are better models of human diseases than other animal models.


  • Rapid aging can confound repeated measures over time in the same subject.
  • The small size of rodents causes constraints on manipulations and measurements.
  • Some human disease conditions cannot be mimicked in rodents.

Other Concerns

  • Some findings in rodents might be unique to rodents.
  • Rodents lack the ability to vomit, so carnivores remain a better model animal to study emesis and conditions that elicit emesis (e.g., motion sickness).
  • Rodents lack respiratory responses such as coughing and sneezing; carnivores remain the most appropriate model for studying cough-suppressing drugs.

SOURCE: Yates presentation.

From: 4, Animals in Neuroscience Research

Cover of International Animal Research Regulations
International Animal Research Regulations: Impact on Neuroscience Research: Workshop Summary.
Institute of Medicine (US); National Research Council (US).
Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2012.
Copyright © 2012, National Academy of Sciences.

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