The 3Rs: Reduction and refinement through a multivariate statistical analysis approach in a behavioural study to unveil anxiolytic effects of natural extracts of Tilia tomentosa
We propose a multivariate statistical approach based on Principal Component Analysis (PCA) as an useful instrument to improve the Rules of Refinement and Reduction in in vivo animal experimentation. We analysed with PCA the preliminary data from a study on the effects of the oral administration of Tilia tomentosa bud extracts (TTBEs) on the behavioural skills of adult and aged male and female mice. PCA allows to rationalize the data set information and to dissect the results, showing connections among variables under study (behavioural parameters) and different trends in the experimental groups (control and TTBEs-administered animals). Our results show that PCA can give some important information that can be useful for the refinement of the experimental protocol, in order to reduce the number of the animals used in the experiments and/or the behavioural tests to get reliable information.
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