Housing temperature influences exercise training adaptations in mice

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Exercise training is a powerful means to combat metabolic diseases. Mice are extensively used to investigate the benefits of exercise, but mild cold stress induced by ambient housing temperatures may confound translation to humans. Thermoneutral housing is a strategy to make mice more metabolically similar to humans but its effects on exercise adaptations are unknown. Here we show that thermoneutral housing blunts exercise-induced improvements in insulin action in muscle and adipose tissue and reduces the effects of training on energy expenditure, body composition, and muscle and adipose tissue protein expressions. Thus, many reported effects of exercise training in mice are likely secondary to metabolic stress of ambient housing temperature, making it challenging to translate to humans. We conclude that adaptations to exercise training in mice critically depend upon housing temperature. Our findings underscore housing temperature as a critical parameter in the design and interpretation of murine exercise training studies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1560
JournalNature Communications
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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