Coupling of energy intake and energy expenditure across a temperature spectrum: impact of diet-induced obesity in mice

Kikumi D. Ono-Moore, Jennifer M. Rutkowsky, Nicole A. Pearson, D. Keith Williams, Justin L. Grobe, Todd Tolentino, K. C. Kent Lloyd, Sean H. Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Obesity and its metabolic sequelae are implicated in dysfunction of the somatosensory, sympathetic, and hypothalamic systems. Because these systems contribute to integrative regulation of energy expenditure (EE) and energy intake (EI) in response to ambient temperature (Ta) changes, we hypothesized that diet-induced obesity (DIO) disrupts Ta-associated EE-EI coupling. C57BL/6N male mice were fed a high-fat diet (HFD; 45% kcal) or low-fat diet (LFD; 10% kcal) for ~9.5 wk; HFD mice were then split into body weight (BWT) quartiles (n 8 each) to study DIO-low gainers (Q1) versus -high gainers (Q4). EI and indirect calorimetry (IC) were measured over 3 days each at 10°C, 20°C, and 30°C. Responses did not differ between LFD, Q1, and Q4; EI and BWT-adjusted EE increased rapidly when transitioning toward 20°C and 10°C. In all groups, EI at 30°C was not reduced despite lower EE, resulting in positive energy balance and respiratory exchange ratios consistent with increased de novo lipogenesis, energy storage, and relative hyperphagia. We conclude that 1) systems controlling Ta-dependent acute EI/EE coupling remained intact in obese mice and 2) rapid coupling of EI/EE at cooler temperatures is an important adaptation to maintain energy stores and defend body temperature, but less critical at thermoneutrality. A post hoc analysis using digestible EI plus IC-calculated EE suggests that standard IC assumptions for EE calculation require further validation in the setting of DIO. The experimental paradigm provides a platform to query the hypothalamic, somatosensory, and sympathetic mechanisms that drive Ta-associated EI/EE coupling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E472-E484
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Feed efficiency
  • Thermoneutral
  • Thermoregulation
  • TNZ
  • Weir

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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