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Mice as experimental models for human physiology: when several degrees in housing temperature matter

Some ‘species differences’ between mice and humans can be diminished simply by housing mice at warmer temperatures. Failure to strategically turn up the thermostat may undermine the translation of findings in mice to insights into human metabolic diseases.

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Fig. 1: Room temperature versus thermoneutrality in mice.


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Writing of this commentary was supported by NIH grants DK089503 and DK117821 to R.J.S., and DK121759, DK125513 and AG069795 to O.A.M.

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R.J.S. and O.A.M. wrote sections of this commentary and edited the entire document.

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Correspondence to Randy J. Seeley.

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Competing interests

R.J.S. has received research support from Novo Nordisk, AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Kintai; has received consulting fees from Novo Nordisk, Kintai and Scohia; and has equity positions in Zafgen, Calibrate Health and Rewind. O.A.M. has received research support from Novo Nordisk, Regeneron, AstraZeneca and Agilent.

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Peer review information Nature Metabolism thanks Antonio Vidal-Puig for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Seeley, R.J., MacDougald, O.A. Mice as experimental models for human physiology: when several degrees in housing temperature matter. Nat Metab 3, 443–445 (2021).

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