Locomotor activity and body temperature in selected mouse lines differing greatly in feed intake

P. A. Sojka, R. S. Griess, M. K. Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Locomotor activity, body temperature, feed intake, and BW were measured on 382 mature male mice sampled from lines previously selected (25 generations) for either high (MH) or low (ML) heat loss and an unselected control (MC). Animals were from all 3 independent replicates of the 3 lines and across 4 generations (68 through 71). Locomotor activity and body temperatures were obtained using implanted transmitters with data collection over 4 d following a 3-d postsurgery recovery period. Data were collected every minute and then averaged into 30-min periods, thus providing 192 data points for each mouse. Least-squares means for feed intake adjusted for BW (Feed/BW, feed·BW-1·d-1, g/g) were 0.1586, 0.1234, and 0.1125 (±0.0022) for MH, MC, and ML, respectively, with line being a highly significant source of variation (P < 0.0003). Line effects for locomotor activity counts, transformed to the 0.25 power for analysis, were significantly different, with MH mice being 2.1 times more active than ML mice (P < 0.003); MC mice were intermediate. Differences in body temperature were significant for both line (P < 0.03) and day effects (P < 0.001), with a 0.32°C difference between the MH and ML lines. Fourier series analysis used the combined significant periodicities of 24, 18, 12, 9, 6, and 3 h to describe circadian cycles for activity and body temperature. All 3 lines expressed daily peaks in body temperature and locomotor activity ~3 h into darkness and ~2 h after lights were turned on. There was a stronger relationship between locomotor activity and Feed/BW (P < 0.0001) than between body temperature and Feed/BW (P < 0.01); differences between lines in locomotor activity and body temperature explained 17% and 3%, respectively, of differences between lines in Feed/BW. Thus, line differences in locomotor activity contribute to line differences in maintenance, but approximately 80% of the differences between the MH and ML selection lines in Feed/BW remains independent of differences in locomotor activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3557-3563
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • Body temperature
  • Circadian rhythm
  • Feed intake
  • Locomotor activity
  • Mice
  • Selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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