UNIT 9.23D Characterization of Energy Expenditure in Rodents by Indirect Calorimetry

  1. Pēteris Alberts1,
  2. Bo G. Johansson2,
  3. Robert A. McArthur3

Published Online: 1 AUG 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0471142301.ns0923ds36

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

How to Cite

Alberts, P., Johansson, B. G. and McArthur, R. A. 2006. Characterization of Energy Expenditure in Rodents by Indirect Calorimetry. Current Protocols in Neuroscience. 36:9.23D:9.23D.1–9.23D.17.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Biovitrum, Stockholm, Sweden

  2. 2

    Somedic, Hörby, Sweden

  3. 3

    McArthur and Associates GmbH, Basel, Switzerland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 AUG 2006
  2. Published Print: JUL 2006


The need for treatment of obesity and obesity-related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, has been intensified by the epidemic rise of obesity. Recent advances make possible continuous monitoring of metabolically relevant functions in animals to identify novel thermogenic and anorectic compounds. This unit describes non-invasive in vivo calorimetric assessment of energy expenditure using measurements of oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production, complemented by telemetric monitoring of body core temperature and locomotor activity in mice and rats. Reference compounds are used to illustrate the determination of substance-specific parameters, such as the dose that produces the half-maximal effect (ED50), the maximal effect, as well as the time of onset and duration of compound action. Indirect calorimetry performed at different temperatures provides information on several other well-defined parameters, including resting metabolic rate, basal metabolic rate, lower critical temperature, temperature sensitivity, defended body temperature, and respiratory quotient.