Calorie restriction (CR) delays the onset of age-related disease and extends lifespan in a number of species. When faced with reduced energy supply animals need to lower energy demands, which may be achieved in part by reducing physical activity (PA). We monitored changes in PA using implanted transmitters in male C57BL/6 mice in response to graded levels of CR (10 to 40%) or matched levels of graded protein restriction (PR) for 3 months. Mice were fed at lights out and ad libitum controls were limited to dark-phase feeding (12AL) or 24hr/day. Total daily PA declined in a non-linear manner over the first 30 days of CR or PR, remaining stable thereafter. Total daily PA was not related to the level of CR or PR. Total daily PA over the last 20 days of restriction was related to circulating leptin, insulin, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF- α) and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 levels, measured after 3 months. Mice under restriction showed a high level of activity in the 2hrs before feeding (food anticipatory activity: FAA). FAA followed a complex pattern, peaking around day 20, falling on ~day 37 then increasing again. FAA was also positively related to the level of restriction and inversely to leptin, insulin, TNF-α and IGF-1. Non-FAA, in contrast, declined over the period of restriction, generally more so in mice under greater restriction, thereby offsetting to some extent the increase in FAA. Mice under PR displayed no changes in PA over time or in comparison to 12AL, and showed no increase in FAA.
Derous, D., Mitchell, S. E., Green, C. L., Chen, L., Han, J. D. J., Wang, Y., … Douglas, A. (2016). The effects of graded levels of calorie restriction: V. Impact of short term calorie and protein restriction on physical activity in the C57BL/6 mouse. Oncotarget, 7(15), 19147–19170. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.8158