AGE

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 89–99 | Cite as

Sex- and age-specific differences in core body temperature of C57Bl/6 mice

  • Manuel Sanchez-Alavez
  • Silvia Alboni
  • Bruno Conti
Article

Abstract

Gender-specific differences in longevity are reported across species and are mediated by mechanisms not entirely understood. In C57Bl/6 mice, commonly used in aging research, males typically outlive females. Since in these animals modest but prolonged reduction of core body (Tc) increased life span, we hypothesized that differential Tc may contribute to sex-specific longevity. Here, we compared the circadian profiles of Tc and locomotor activity (LMA) of male and female C57Bl/6 mice. Since Tc and LMA normally change with age, measurements were carried out in young (3 months) as well as in old (24 months) mice. In young females, Tc was influenced by estrous but was overall higher than in males. This difference was larger in old animals after age eliminated the variations associated with estrous. Although temperature homeostasis is regulated centrally by the sexually dimorphic hypothalamic preoptic area, these differences were uniquely dependent on the gonads. In fact, bilateral gonadectomy abolished the effects of estrous and increased resting Tc in males eliminating all sex-specific differences in Tc and LMA. These effects were only partially mimicked by hormonal replacement as Tc was affected by progesterone and to a lesser extent by estrogen but not by testosterone. Thus, gonadal-dependent modulation of Tc may be one of the physiological parameters contributing to gender-specific differences in longevity.

Keywords

Temperature Gender Mouse Gonadectomy Locomotor activity 

Supplementary material

11357_2010_9164_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (50 kb)
Supplemental Table 1 Cosinor analysis of circadian Tc and LMA profile female and male mice during hormone replacement. DHT, 5α-dihydrotestosterone; 17beta E, 17β-estradiol; TX, treated. (PDF 49 kb)
11357_2010_9164_Fig4_ESM.gif (172 kb)

Supplemental Figure 1 Profile of Tc and LMA of 3-month-old female mice indicating (arrows) the time of vaginal swabs collected for histological analysis for determination of estrous phases. A profile comprising 1 h before and 1 h after sample collection is shown in the lower panel. (GIF 171 kb)

11357_2010_9164_MOESM2_ESM.eps (1.6 mb)
High resolution image (EPS 1666 kb)
11357_2010_9164_Fig5_ESM.gif (311 kb)

Supplemental Figure 2 Tc and LMA profiles of castrated male and ovariectomized female treated with placebo or 5α-dihydrotestosterone (5αHDT) testosterone, progesterone, or 17β-estradiol (17βE) recorded over 24 h. (n = 6, 6; *p < 0.05). (GIF 311 kb)

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High resolution image (EPS 6688 kb)
11357_2010_9164_Fig6_ESM.gif (38 kb)

Supplemental Figure 3 Survival curves of C57Bl/6 mice maintained in the same dietary and environmental conditions used for the mice used in the present study, showing that males outlived females. Vertical lines correspond to the age investigated in this study: 3 and 24 months. The curves were extrapolated from the study previously published by us (Conti et al. 2006). (EPS 781 kb) (GIF 37 kb)

11357_2010_9164_MOESM4_ESM.eps (781 kb)
High resolution image (EPS 781 kb)

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Copyright information

© American Aging Association, Media, PA, USA 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manuel Sanchez-Alavez
    • 1
  • Silvia Alboni
    • 2
  • Bruno Conti
    • 1
  1. 1.Molecular and Integrative Neurosciences DepartmentThe Scripps Research InstituteLa JollaUSA
  2. 2.Biomedical Sciences DepartmentUniversity of Modena and Reggio EmiliaModenaItaly

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