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Anjara Rabearivony, Huan Li, Zhang Shiyao, Siyu Chen, Xiaofei An, and Liu Chang

Environmental temperature remarkably impacts the metabolic homeostasis, raising a serious concern about the optimum housing temperature for translational study. Recent studies suggested that mice should be housed slightly below their thermoneutral temperature (26°C). On the other hand, the external temperature, also known as a Zeitgeber, can reset the circadian rhythm. However, whether the housing temperature affects the circadian oscillators of the liver remains unknown. Therefore, we have compared the effect of two housing temperatures, namely 21°C (conventional; TC) and 26°C (thermoneutral; TN), on the circadian rhythms in mice. We found that the rhythmicity of the food intake showed an advanced phase at TC, while the activity was more robust at TN, with a prolonged period onset. The serum levels of norepinephrine were remarkably induced at TC, but failed to oscillate rhythmically at both temperatures. Likewise, the circulating glucose levels were increased but were non-rhythmic under TC. Both total cholesterol and triglycerides levels were induced at TN, but showed an advanced phase under TC. Additionally, the expression of hepatic metabolic genes and clock genes remained rhythmic at both temperatures, with the exception of G6Pase, Fasn, Cpt1α and Cry2, at TN. Nevertheless, the liver histology examination did not show any significant changes in response to the housing temperatures. Although the non-consistent trends of phase changes in each temperature, our results suggest the non-reductant role of the temperature in mouse internal rhythmicity resetting. Thus, the temperature-controlled internal circadian synchronization within organs should be taken into consideration when optimizing the housing temperature for mouse.