Assessment of Metabolic Flexibility of Old and Adult Mice Using Three Noninvasive, Indirect Calorimetry-Based Treatments

L.P.M. Duivenvoorde, E.M. van Schothorst, J.J.M. Swarts, J. Keijer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Indirect calorimetry (InCa) can potentially be used to noninvasively assess metabolic and age-related flexibility. To assess the use of InCa for this purpose, we tested the sensitivity and response stability over time of three InCa-based treatments in old versus adult mice. Diurnal patterns of respiratory exchange ratio were followed for 24 hours under standard conditions (Treatment 1), but the results were not stable between test periods. As a challenge, fasted mice received glucose to test switch-effectiveness from fat to glucose oxidation (Treatment 2). No differences between groups were observed, although old mice showed higher adiposity and lower white adipose tissue (WAT) mitochondrial density, indicative of age-impaired metabolic health. Lastly, adaptation to a challenge of oxygen restriction (OxR, 14.5% O2) was assessed as a novel approach (Treatment 3). This treatment stably detected significant differences: old mice did not maintain reduced oxygen consumption under OxR during both test periods, whereas adult mice did. Further biochemical and gene expression analyses showed that OxR affected glucose and lactate homeostasis in liver and WAT of adult mice, supporting the observed differences in oxygen consumption. In conclusion, InCa analysis of the response to OxR in mice is a sensitive and reproducible treatment to noninvasively measure age-impaired metabolic health.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-293
JournalJournals of Gerontology. Series A: Biological Sciences & Medical Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • type-2 diabetes-mellitus
  • adipose-tissue
  • energy-metabolism
  • gene-expression
  • dietary restriction
  • hypobaric hypoxia
  • laboratory mice
  • down-regulation
  • weight-gain
  • food-intake


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