Does housing temperature influence glucose regulation and muscle-fat crosstalk in mice?

Biochimie. 2023 Jul:210:35-39. doi: 10.1016/j.biochi.2023.01.019. Epub 2023 Feb 8.


The robustness of scientific results is partly based on their reproducibility. Working with animal models, particularly in the field of metabolism, requires to avoid any source of stress to rule out a maximum of bias. Housing at room temperature is sufficient to induce thermal stress activating key thermogenic organs such as brown adipose tissue (BAT) and skeletal muscle. BAT covers most of the non-shivering thermogenesis in mice and burns a variety of fuels such as glucose and lipids. A high prevalence of BAT is associated with a strong protection against type 2 diabetes risk in humans, implying that BAT plays a key role in glucose homeostasis. However, thermal stress is poorly and inconsistently considered in experimental research. This thermal stress can significantly impede interpretation of phenotypes by favoring compensatory signaling pathways. Indeed, various studies revealed that thermoneutrality is essential to study metabolism in mice in order to reach a suitable level of "humanization". In this review, we briefly discuss if and how ambient temperature influence blood glucose homeostasis through BAT and muscle-fat crosstalk.

Keywords: Glucose metabolism; Mouse model; Myokines; Thermoneutrality; brown adipose tissue.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / metabolism
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Glucose* / metabolism
  • Housing
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Temperature
  • Thermogenesis / genetics


  • Glucose