Body composition in non reproduction adult males and females in long-term selection experiment for litter in mice

W.M. Rauw, P.W. Knap, M.W.A. Verstegen, P. Luiting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Earlier studies have shown that adult mice from a line selected for high litter size (S-line), in particular females, had higher residual food intake (RFI) than mice from a non-selected control line (C-line). It was suggested that this increase in RFI, in particular the mature selected females, may anticipate the metabolically stressful periods of pregnancy and lactation. The present study investigated whether body composition at maturity has been changed as a correlated response to selection, in order to support the offspring during pregnancy and lactation. Furthermore, part of the observed differences between individuals in RFI may be attributable to differing proportions of body protein and lipid. For these reasons, differences in body composition at maturity between males and females of the S-line and the C-line were investigated. Lipid percentage was similar for C-line animals and S-line females; S-line males had a significantly lower lipid percentage. Males had a higher protein percentage than females, in particular S-line males. The results show that body composition in adult non-reproductive females has not been affected as a correlated effect of selection for high litter size. Furthermore, the results suggest that the high lean content in S-line males may explain part of the high RFI compared with C-line animals. Body composition in S-line females probably does not explain the high RFI compared with S-line males and C-line animals. Factors other than protein and lipid levels must be responsible for the differences found between the lines and sexes in RFI.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-201
JournalJournal of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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