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Energy expenditure and locomotor activity in mice selected for food intake adjusted for body weight


The aim of this study was to examine the differences in physical activity and their contribution to differences in energy utilization in mice, selected either high or low for food intake, adjusted for body weight, which show correlated responses in lean content and metabolic rate. Simultaneous measurements of fasting metabolic rate and activity were made in lines of mice selected at either: a young age, 4-to 6-week food intake corrected for 4-week body weight; or an older age, 8- to 10-week food intake corrected for mean weight at 8 and 10 weeks of age. Correlated response in metabolic rate was found to have been accompanied by changes in locomotor activity near the ages at selection in both sets of lines. Activity, however, accounted for only a small proportion of variation in fasting heat production, generally less than 5%, although a highly positive correlation (r=0.63) between the two traits was found. It was concluded that selection for food intake adjusted for body weight has led to correlated response in physical activity. In consequence, mice selected in the upward direction expend some of the excess energy intake rather than assimilating it as body mass and are, therefore, slightly leaner than their counterparts selected in the downward direction.

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Communicated by E. J. Eisen

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Moruppa, S.M. Energy expenditure and locomotor activity in mice selected for food intake adjusted for body weight. Theoret. Appl. Genetics 79, 131–136 (1990).

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Key words

  • Selection response
  • Metabolic rate
  • Inheritance of activity
  • Mice