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J Physiol. 2020 Mar 21. doi: 10.1113/JP278806. [Epub ahead of print]

Sex-specific metabolic responses to 6 hours fasting during the active phase in young mice.

Author information

1
Charles Perkins Centre, The University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.
2
School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, The University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.
3
School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medicine, The University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.
4
Ageing and Alzheimer's Institute and Centre for Education and Research on Ageing, Concord Hospital, Concord, NSW, Australia.

Abstract

KEY POINTS:

Night time/active phase food restriction for 6 hr impaired glucose intolerance in young male and female mice. Females displayed increased capacity for lipogenesis and triglyceride storage in response to a short daily fast. Females had lower fasting insulin levels and an increased potential for utilizing fat for energy through β-oxidation compared to males. The need for the inclusion of both sexes, and the treatment of sex as an independent variable, is emphasized within the context of this fasting regime.

ABSTRACT:

There is growing interest in understanding the mechanistic significance and benefits of fasting physiology in combating obesity. Increasing the fasting phase of a normal day can promote restoration and repair mechanisms that occur during the post-absorptive period. Most studies exploring the effect of restricting food access on mitigating obesity have done so with a large bias towards the use of male mice. Here, we disentangle the roles of sex, food intake and food withdrawal in the response to a short-term daily fasting intervention, where food was removed for six hours in the dark/active phase of young, 8-week old mice. We showed that the removal of food during the dark phase impaired glucose tolerance in males and females, possibly due to the circadian disruption induced by this feeding protocol. Although both sexes demonstrated similar patterns of food intake, body composition and various metabolic markers, there were clear sex differences in the magnitude and extent of these responses. While females displayed enhanced capacity for lipogenesis and triglyceride storage, they also had low fasting insulin levels and an increased potential for utilizing available energy sources such as fat for energy through β-oxidation. Our results highlight the intrinsic biological and metabolic disparities between male and female mice, emphasizing the growing need for the inclusion of both sexes in scientific research. Furthermore, our results illustrate sex-specific metabolic pathways that regulate lipogenesis, obesity and overall metabolic health. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:

circadian rhythm; food timing; lipogenesis; obesity; sex effects; short daily fasting

PMID:
32198893
DOI:
10.1113/JP278806

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