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Hyperactive When Young, Hypoactive and Overweight When Aged: Connecting the Dots in the Story About Locomotor Activity, Body Mass, and Aging in Trpv1 Knockout Mice


Hyperactive When Young, Hypoactive and Overweight When Aged: Connecting the Dots in the Story About Locomotor Activity, Body Mass, and Aging in Trpv1 Knockout Mice

Samuel P Wanner et al. Aging (Albany NY).


We have recently found that, at a young age, transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 (Trpv1) knockout (-/-) mice have a higher locomotor activity than their wild-type littermates (+/+). We have also found that, with age, Trpv1(-/-) mice become substantially heavier than Trpv1(+/+) controls, thus forming a paradoxical association between locomotor hyperactivity and overweight. The present study solves this contradiction. By using two experimental paradigms, we show that aged Trpv1(-/-) mice have not an increased, but a decreased, locomotor activity, as compared to age-matched Trpv1(+/+) controls. We also confirm that aged Trpv1(-/-) mice are overweight. We conclude that TRPV1 channels are involved in the regulation of both general locomotor activity and body mass in an age-dependent manner.

Conflict of interest statement

A.A.R. has consulted for Amgen, Inc., and TRP programs at several other pharmaceutical companies, and his research was supported by Amgen, Inc.


Figure 1.
Figure 1.
Compared to genetically unaltered controls, aged Trpv1−/− mice have a suppressed locomotor activity throughout the day, a lower abdominal temperature during the inactive (light) phase, and a higher abdominal temperature during the active (dark) phase. The locomotor activity and abdominal temperature were measured by telemetry. The mice were kept in their home cages placed inside a climatic chamber; the ambient temperature was maintained at 28°C. The data are shown as means ± SE. Significant changes (P < 5 × 10−2, compared to Trpv1+/+ mice) are marked with asterisks (or horizontal lines with asterisks).
Figure 2.
Figure 2.
Aged Trpv1−/− mice have a higher body mass (P = 1 × 10−3) and a lower general locomotor activity (P < 1 × 10−7) than their genetically unaltered littermates. Group means (± SE) and individual data are shown. The locomotor activity was measured by telemetry during a 3-h period at the beginning of the inactive phase. The ambient temperature was 28°C.

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