Send to

Choose Destination
J Comp Physiol B. 2006 Feb;176(2):139-51. Epub 2006 Jan 17.

Effects of three simultaneous demands on glucose transport, resting metabolism and morphology of laboratory mice.

Author information

Department of Biology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA.


In nature, animals must successfully respond to many simultaneous demands from their environment in order to survive and reproduce. We examined physiological and morphological responses of mice given three demands: intestinal parasite infection with Heligmosomoides polygyrus followed by caloric restriction (70% of ad libitum food intake versus ad libitum for 10 days) and/or cold exposure (5 degrees C vs. 23 degrees C for 10 days). We found significant interactions between these demands as well as independent effects. Small intestine structure and function changed with demands in both independent and interactive ways. Body mass decreased during caloric restriction and this decrease was greater for cold-exposed than warm-exposed mice. In ad libitum fed mice, body mass did not change with either cold exposure or parasite infection but body composition (fat versus lean mass of whole body or organs) changed with both demands. Generally, organ masses decreased with caloric restriction (even after accounting for body mass effects) and increased with cold exposure and parasite infection whereas fat mass decreased with both caloric restriction and parasite infection. Mass adjusted resting metabolic rate (RMR) increased with cold exposure, decreased with caloric restriction but, unlike previous studies with laboratory mice, did not change with parasite infection. Our results demonstrate that the ability of mice to respond to a demand is influenced by other concurrent demands and that mice show phenotypic plasticity of morphological and physiological features ranging from the tissue level to the level of the whole organism when given three simultaneous demands.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center