about my Elise Richter project ...

Specific aims

To test our hypothesis we will use lactating mice from the MF1 strain in addition to the model system of the long-lived Ames dwarf mouse. Our models differ in their body temperature.

While MF1 mice have a core body temperature of about 37 ° C, Ames dwarf mice only have about 34 ° C according to Hunter et al. 1999. We thus chose these two models to be exposed to three diets of different fatty acid content. Importantly, Ames dwarf mice also have lower body temperatures and presumably impaired thermoregulation while at the same time possessing muscle membrane phospholipids low in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. We will keep animals on isocaloric diets enriched with either n-3 or n-6 fatty acids and will establish a control on an isocaloric saturated diet. In all experimental animals we will measure subcutaneous temperature with implanted "life chips" and tissue fatty acid composition.

The second model system is a laboratory mouse strain well known for its excellent milk production: the MF1 mouse. Not only will MF1 mice be kept on the same three diets as the Ames dwarf mice while their body temperature will be continuously recorded but a subsample of the females will be also paired (after having received the diet for 4 weeks) and will raise young. Due to the extensive data on lactation available for MF1 mice we will be able to test if feeding the diets impact on their thermoregulation and on their energy budgets during lactation. This project aims for identifying the role of membrane bound fatty acids for modulation of body temperature in mammals.