Scientists at Orlando's Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute have come up with an unusual new model for studying the way muscles work and how that relates to obesity: a couch-potato mouse.
In a new study being released today in the journal Cell Metabolism, Dr. Daniel Kelly and a team of colleagues at Sanford-Burnham's Lake Nona campus created laboratory mice with very low levels of a protein called PGC-1 in their muscles.
Kelly and his team were surprised to find that the mice they engineered with the low protein levels were not obese or overweight. Instead, they looked normal and walked around without problems.
But put them on a treadmill and they could only run short distances. While the average mouse could last 170 minutes on a treadmill, the couch-potato mouse ran only 6.6 minutes...