Individual housing of male C57BL/6J mice after weaning impairs growth and predisposes for obesity

Lidewij Schipper*, Steffen van Heijningen, Giorgio Karapetsas, Eline M. van der Beek, Gertjan van Dijk

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

Onderzoeksoutput: ArticleAcademicpeer review

10 Citaten (Scopus)
169 Downloads (Pure)


For (metabolic) research models using mice, singly housing is widely used for practical purposes to study e.g. energy balance regulation and derangements herein. Mouse (social) housing practices could however influence study results by modulating (metabolic) health outcomes. To study the effects of the social housing condition, we assessed parameters for energy balance regulation and proneness to (diet induced) obesity in male C57Bl/6J mice that were housed individually or socially (in pairs) directly after weaning, both at standard ambient temperature of 21 degrees C. During adolescence, individually housed mice had reduced growth rate, while energy intake and energy expenditure were increased compared to socially housed counterparts. At 6 weeks of age, these mice had reduced lean body mass, but significantly higher white adipose tissue mass compared to socially housed mice, and higher UCP-1 mRNA expression in brown adipose tissue. During adulthood, body weight gain of individually housed animals exceeded that of socially housed mice, with elevations in both energy intake and expenditure. At 18 weeks of age, individually housed mice showed higher adiposity and higher mRNA expression of UCP-1 in inguinal white but not in brown adipose tissue. Exposure to an obesogenic diet starting at 6 weeks of age further amplified body weight gain and adipose tissue deposition and caused strong suppression of inguinal white adipose tissue mRNA UCP-1 expression. This study shows that post-weaning individual housing of male mice impairs adolescent growth and results in higher susceptibility to obesity in adulthood with putative roles for thermoregulation and/or affectiveness.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's17
TijdschriftPLoS ONE
Nummer van het tijdschrift5
Vroegere onlinedatum26-mei-2020
StatusPublished - 2020

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