Faced with reduced levels of food, animals must adjust to the consequences of the shortfall in energy. We explored how C57BL/6 mice withdrew energy from different body tissues during three months of food restriction at graded levels up to 40% (calorie restriction: CR). We compared this to the response to equivalent levels of protein restriction (PR) without a shortfall in calories. Under CR there was a dynamic change in body mass over 30 days and thereafter it stabilized. The time to reach stability was independent of the level of restriction. At the end of three months whole body dissections revealed differential utilization of the different tissues. Adipose tissue depots were the most significantly utilized tissue, and provided 55.8 to 60.9% of the total released energy. In comparison, reductions in the sizes of structural tissues contributed between 29.8 and 38.7% of the energy. The balance was made up by relatively small changes in the vital organs. The components of the alimentary tract grew slightly under restriction, particularly the stomach, and this was associated with a parallel increase in assimilation efficiency of the food (averaging 1.73%). None of the changes under CR were recapitulated by equivalent levels of PR.
Under calorie restriction (CR) animals need to lower energy demands. Whether this involves a reduction in cellular metabolism is an issue of contention. We exposed C57BL/6 mice to graded CR for 3 months, measured BMR and dissected out 20 body compartments. From a separate age-matched group (n=57), we built 7 predictive models for BMR. Unadjusted BMR declined with severity of restriction. Comparison of measured and predicted BMR from the simple models suggested suppression occurred. The extent of suppression was greater with increased CR severity. However, when models based on individual organ sizes as predictors were used, the discrepancy between the prediction and the observed BMR disappeared. This suggested metabolic suppression was an artefact of not having a detailed enough model to predict the expected changes in metabolism. Our data have wide implications because they indicate that inferred metabolic impacts of genetic and other manipulations may reflect effects on organ morphology.
scite is a Brooklyn-based startup that helps researchers better discover and understand research articles through Smart Citations–citations that display the context of the citation and describe whether the article provides supporting or contrasting evidence. scite is used by students and researchers from around the world and is funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health.