Animals have to adjust their activities when faced with caloric restriction (CR) to deal with reduced energy intake. If CR is pronounced, allostasis can push individuals into alternate physiological states which can result in important health benefits across a wide range of taxa. Here we developed a new approach to determine the changes in behavioural phenotype associated with different levels of CR. We exposed C57BL/6 male mice to graded CR (from 0 to 40%) for three months and defined their behavioural phenotype using hidden Markov models of their movement and body temperature. All 40% CR mice exhibited a state-shift in behavioural phenotype and only some exposed to 30% CR did. We show for the first time that mice changed their activity characteristics rather than changed their activities. This new phenotyping approach provides an avenue to determine the mechanisms linking CR to healthspan.
Lusseau, D., Mitchell, S. E., Barros, C., Derous, D., Green, C., Chen, L., Han, J-D. J., Wang, Y., Promislow, D. E. L., Douglas, A., & Speakman, J. R. (2015). The effects of graded levels of calorie restriction: IV. Non-linear change in behavioural phenotype of mice in response to short-term calorie restriction. Scientific Reports, 5, [13198 ]. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep13198