Comprehensive Energy Balance Measurements in Mice

Curr Protoc Mouse Biol. 2016 Sep 1;6(3):211-222. doi: 10.1002/cpmo.13.


In mice with altered body composition, establishing whether it is food intake or energy expenditure, or both, that is the major determinant resulting in changed energy balance is important. In order to ascertain where the imbalance is, the acquisition of reproducible data is critical. Therefore, here we provide detailed descriptions of how to determine energy balance in mice. This encompasses protocols for establishing energy intake from home cage measurement of food intake, determining energy lost in feces using bomb calorimetry, and using equations to calculate parameters such as energy intake (EI), digested energy intake (DEI), and metabolisable energy intake (MEI) to determine overall energy balance. We also discuss considerations that should be taken into account when planning these experiments, including diet and sample sizes. © 2016 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Keywords: bomb calorimetry; energy balance; energy expenditure; energy intake; fecal energy; food intake.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Composition
  • Calorimetry
  • Eating*
  • Energy Intake*
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Mice / physiology*
  • Models, Animal
  • Models, Biological
  • Physiology / methods*