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Detection of Successful and Unsuccessful Pregnancies in Mice within Hours of Pairing through Frequency Analysis of High Temporal Resolution Core Body Temperature Data.

PLoS One. 2016;11(7):e0160127

Authors: Smarr BL, Zucker I, Kriegsfeld LJ

Abstract
Many controllable factors negatively impact fetal development, underscoring the importance of early pregnancy detection and identification of events that reliably predict potential complications. Clinically, core body temperature (CBT) is used to aid family planning and pregnancy detection. However, such temperature data typically are gathered in single, daily measurements. In animal studies, interventions or cell/tissue harvesting at defined stages of fetal development are arduous, requiring timed mating by trained observers. The value of continuous temperature measurements remains largely unexplored, but the advent of small, inexpensive, and increasingly ubiquitous, accurate sensor devices makes continuous measures feasible. Here, using a mouse model, we show that continuous, 1-min resolution CBT measurements reliably allow for the earliest and most accurate detection of pregnancy (100%, within 14 h of initial pairing), without requiring interaction with the animal for data collection. This method also reveals a subset of females that exhibit a pregnancy-like response following pairing that persists for a variable number of days. Application of wavelet analysis that permits frequency analysis while preserving temporal resolution, uncovers significant differences in ultradian frequencies of CBT; these rhythms are significantly increased in the 12 h after the day of pairing for pregnancies carried to term compared to apparent pregnancies that failed. High temporal resolution CBT and wavelet analysis permit strikingly early detection and separation of successful pregnancies and pregnancy-like events.

PMID: 27467519 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]