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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

Menu Logo Principal logo Université Clermont Auvergne & associés

Human Nutrition Unit

Zone de texte éditable et éditée et rééditée

Animal Facilities

Contact : Julien Hermet

Research themes developed in the animal facilities

The animal facilties conduct experimental protocols in line with the Human Nutrition Unit (UNH) research objectives, which are to study the impact of food, eating habits and micro/macro-nutrients on the metabolic pathways involved in maintaining the biological functions for a good health status. The experiments conducted allow to  know  how signals are elicited by nutrients/food and to propose nutritional (/nutrient) recommendations to prevent some degenerative diseases developing with aging.

The IEN also takes in charge experiments from other units in the INRAE Centre (Qualité des Produits Animaux (QuaPA) – Quality of Animal Products; Unité Mixte de recherche sur les Herbivores (UMRH) – Mixt Unit of research on herbivores ...) or University of Clermont-Ferrand (Université Clermont Auvergne (UCA), Centre International de Chirurgie Endoscopique (CICE) - International Center for Endoscopic Surgery).

The facilities have been designed to have rodents and medium-sized animals (mini-pigs) in two different and independent  areas  (600 m2)  respecting the conventional sanitary conditions.

The IEN can house up to 5,000 rodents and 18 mini-pigs.

souris 1 (janvier)

The facilities are divided in two parts :


I – The rodent zone

This 600m2 area is made of :

  • 17 experimental units from 9 to 50m2
  • 1 air-controlled room including both an experimental and a lab section
  • 4 labs equipped with scales, centrifuges, hot plates, freezers, gas anesthesia system, Sorbonne.
  • 1 area to stock food and litter
  • 2 areas to prepare food and diets
  • 1 cold room (4°C and – 20°C)
  • 1 washing area with the necessary equipment to wash feeding bottles, cages, and a dishwasher.


The IEN is designed to house class A1 transgenic animals. There are currently 2,000 mice, among which 75% are transgenic.


There is  also a  technical facility allowing animal functional and metabolic phenotyping including:

  • measure of  body composition : fat mass / lean mass / total body water
  • measure of  energy expenditure through indirect calorimetry and physical activity
  • collect of urin and faeces, food and water intake
  • measure of blood cells (hemocytometer Scil)
  •  measure of  physical activity and mobility  (Catwalk)


II – The  mini-pigs zone :

  • 1 area to host 12 mini-pigs
  • 1 area for experiments equipped with 6 metabolic cages
  • 1 lab
  • 1 room to make samples
  • 1 stocking area
  • 1 area to prepare food and diets  
  •  2 cold rooms (4°C and -20°C)


This area is coupled to a surgery  core facility which allows invasive interventions under general anesthesia, such as implanting permanent catheters in blood vessels of the abdominal cavity, or installing / setting up devices that can study what food becomes once in the intestine.

Other devices can be provided, such as a blood flow measuring device (T420, Transonic System Inc), as well as flow measuring tubes.


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