Long-lived crowded-litter mice exhibit lasting effects on insulin sensitivity and energy homeostasis

Marianna Sadagurski, Taylor Landeryou, Manuel Blandino-Rosano, Gillian Cady, Lynda Elghazi, Daniel Meister, Lauren See, Andrzej Bartke, Ernesto Bernal-Mizrachi, Richard A. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The action of nutrients on early postnatal growth can influence mammalian aging and longevity. Recent work has demonstrated that limiting nutrient availability in the first 3 wk of life [by increasing the number of pups in the crowded-litter (CL) model] leads to extension of mean and maximal lifespan in genetically normal mice. In this study, we aimed to characterize the impact of early-life nutrient intervention on glucose metabolism and energy homeostasis in CL mice. In our study, we used mice from litters supplemented to 12 or 15 pups and compared those to control litters limited to eight pups. At weaning and then throughout adult life, CL mice are significantly leaner and consume more oxygen relative to control mice. At 6 mo of age, CL mice had low fasting leptin concentrations, and low-dose leptin injections reduced body weight and food intake more in CL female mice than in controls. At 22 mo, CL female mice also have smaller adipocytes compared with controls. Glucose and insulin tolerance tests show an increase in insulin sensitivity in 6 mo old CL male mice, and females become more insulin sensitive later in life. Furthermore, β-cell mass was significantly reduced in the CL male mice and was associated with reduction in β-cell proliferation rate in these mice. Together, these data show that early-life nutrient intervention has a significant lifelong effect on metabolic characteristics that may contribute to the increased lifespan of CL mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1305-E1314
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Caloric restriction
  • Crowded litter
  • Insulin
  • Leptin
  • Longevity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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