Dr. Lauren Woodie and Dr. Matthew Morris present their research involving metabolism, diet, and energy expenditure in mouse models.

The Physio-Metabolic Effects of Western Diet-Induced Obesity in a Male Mouse Model
Lauren Woodie, PhD

Obesity is a major public health concern that can result from consuming a Western diet (WD), characterized by a diet high in fat and sugar, including sugar sweetened beverages. A proposed treatment for WD-induced obesity is time-restricted feeding (TRF), which restricts consumption of food to specific times of the 24-hour cycle. TRF improves metabolic health by aligning the timing of food intake with the circadian rhythms of nutrient metabolism and shows great promise to prevent obesity and the development of chronic disease by resynchronizing the circadian clock. However, the ability of TRF to reverse metabolic changes in animal models of WD-induced obesity is not known. Moreover, the exact role of timing liquid sugar intake, independent of timing solid food intake, on the development of WD-induced obesity remains to be determined. We hypothesize that ad libitum liquid sugar consumption confounds the effects of solid calorie TRF. Overall, the present results indicate that solid and liquid calorie consumption strategically restricted to the active phase can improve some of the deleterious physio-metabolic effects of Western diet feeding.

Interaction of Housing Temperature and Sex Impacts Metabolic Response in Mice
E. Matthew Morris, PhD

Housing temperature can be used to produce divergent energy expenditure in mice. This difference in energy expenditure results in temperature- and sex- specific differences in the metabolic response to short-term high-fat, high-sucrose feeding. These differences appear in the form of sex differences in weight gain and changes in body composition. This work supports the energy flux hypothesis, where energy intake is more highly coupled to energy demand at higher energy expenditure levels in mice. In this study, we will also demonstrate that greater basal energy expenditure is associated with greater metabolic flexibility to diet and diet-induced non-shivering thermogenesis, particularly in female mice.

Key Topics Include:

  • Mouse models of Western diet-induced obesity
  • Time restricted calorie consumption
  • Differences in basal energy expenditure results in sex differences in weight gain and body composition
  • Energy flux hypothesis
  • Greater basal energy expenditure is associated with greater metabolic flexibility

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Post-Doctoral Fellow
Institute for Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism
University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Lauren Woodie is a Postdoc Trainee in the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism at the University of Pennsylvania. She completed her PhD in Nutrition Science at Auburn University with Dr. Michael Greene, the director of the Auburn University Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Laboratory. Her projects at Auburn focused on the effects of specific nutrient consumption on diurnal metabolism. Here she investigated the physio-metabolic effects of time-restricted calorie consumption in male mouse models of Western diet-induced obesity. Presently, Dr. Woodie is in the lab of Dr. Mitchell Lazar at Penn where she is continuing her training to delineate the mechanisms of organismal circadian homeostasis.

Assistant Professor
Molecular & Integrative Physiology
University of Kansas Medical Center

Dr. Morris is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology at the University of Kansas Medical Center. His lab investigates how the susceptibility to diet-induced weight gain is mediated by systemic and peripheral energy metabolism through the modulation of the neural centers regulating energy intake and expenditure. His work centers on how the function of the primary energy producing cellular bodies, mitochondria, can impact tissue function and ultimately systemic health. Currently, the lab is investigating: 1) how liver mitochondrial function can, through neural pathways to the brain, influence high fat diet-induced weight, 2) how systemic energy expenditure serves as an independent regulator of weight gain and adiposity, and 3) whether transcriptional control of mitochondria in the ventromedial hypothalamus is necessary for susceptibility to weight gain.

Production Partner

Sable Systems International Inc.

Sable Systems International contributes to the research community with superior instrumentation and software for innovation and discovery. Their metabolic phenotyping systems measure calorimetry, respirometry, metabolic/behavioral phenotyping and gas analysis at the best possible resolution and precision, providing unprecedented analytical and statistical power.

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