Bedding as a variable affecting fasting blood glucose and vascular physiology in mice

Timothy M. Sveeggen, Brant E. Isakson, Adam C. Straub, Pooneh Bagher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Rodent husbandry requires careful consideration of environmental factors that may impact colony performance and subsequent physiological studies. Of note, recent reports have suggested corncob bedding may affect a broad range of organ systems. As corncob bedding may contain digestible hemicelluloses, trace sugars, and fiber, we hypothesized that corncob bedding impacts overnight fasting blood glucose and murine vascular function. Here, we compared mice housed on corncob bedding, which were then fasted overnight on either corncob or ALPHA-dri bedding, a virgin paper pulp cellulose alternative. Male and female mice were used from two noninduced, endothelial-specific conditional knockout strains [Cadherin 5-cre/ERT2, floxed hemoglobin-a1 (Hba1fl/fl) or Cadherin 5-cre/ERT2, floxed cytochrome-B5 reductase 3 (CyB5R3fl/fl)] on a C57BL/6J genetic background. After fasting overnight, initial fasting blood glucose was measured, and mice were anesthetized with isoflurane for measurement of blood perfusion via laser speckle contrast analysis using a PeriMed PeriCam PSI NR system. After a 15-min equilibration, the mice were injected intraperitoneally with the a1-adrenergic receptor agonist, phenylephrine (5 mg/kg), or saline, and monitored for changes in blood perfusion. After a 15-min response period, blood glucose was remeasured postprocedure. In both strains, mice fasted on corncob bedding had higher blood glucose than the pulp cellulose group. In the CyB5R3fl/fl strain, mice housed on corncob bedding displayed a significant reduction in phenylephrine-mediated change in perfusion. In the Hba1fl/fl strain, phenylephrine-induced change in perfusion was not different in the corncob group. This work suggests that corncob bedding, in part due to its ingestion by mice, could impact vascular measurements and fasting blood glucose. To promote scientific rigor and improve reproducibility, bedding type should be routinely included in published methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H338-H345
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • blood glucose
  • corncob bedding
  • mouse husbandry
  • vascular function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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