August 24, 2023

Measuring Energy Balance in Mice from VO2/VCO2, Food Intake and Activity Data

Metabolic research continues to have an increased need for simultaneous multi-parameter measurements of Respiratory Exchange Ratio (RER), animal activity, and food intake (caloric consumption) to properly asses compounds, proteins, and genes on how they influence metabolism. But temporal alignment of this data into meaningful conclusions can have a steep learning curve for the non-initiated, and selecting appropriate options for such a complicated system can be over whelming. This webinar aims to discuss the essential elements and how they are to be applied.

In this webinar sponsored by Columbus Instruments, Chris Adams provides an overview of essential parameters for studying energy expenditure in laboratory rodents.  He reviews gas exchange using open circuit indirect calorimetry to measure VO2, VCO2, RER and energy expenditure; food/water intake using direct mass measurement for accumulative and/or bout monitoring for controlling caloric intake and for identifying diet preference; and activity using an IR photo-cell array and/or running wheel rotation for scoring locomotion, stereotypic behavior (grooming/scratching), resting behavior and wheel running behavior.

In addtion, Dr. Marta Fiorotto presents quantitative data acquired in her lab such as energy intake and energy expenditure while highlighting qualitative measurements such as spontaneous cage activity, voluntary activity and dietary-induced thermogenesis.  She discusses the value of "secondary data" as well with a focus on RER and behaviors such as eating patterns, sleeping and exploratory drive.   Finally, Dr. Fiorotto highlights key considerations for proper experimental design and to ensure data validity including habituation, animal-to-animal individuality, diets, environmental factors, instrument setup, timing of measurement and normalization protocols.