Mouse Metabolic Research Unit


About the Unit


The primary goal of the Mouse Metabolic Research Unit is to characterize mouse metabolic phenotypes. MMRU users currently have access to a Comprehensive Laboratory Animal Monitoring System (CLAMS, Columbus Instruments) for metabolic assessments, and the PIXImus and QMR instruments for indirectly estimating body composition; i.e., lean body mass, fat mass, and bone mineral content.

Mouse Metabolic Research Unit (MMRU) Use Request Form




The CLAMS is a mouse monitoring system that can be customized to fulfill the needs of specific users/experimental designs. This system integrates a variety of non-invasive monitoring technologies that enable the continuous assessment of a number of metabolic and physiologic parameters in mice. The capabilities of our system include quantitative 24-hour monitoring of behavioral (e.g. spontaneous ambulatory or running wheel activity/locomotion, sleeping, and feeding) and physiological (e.g. oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production, respiratory exchange ratio, energy expenditure, body temperature, and exercise capacity) parameters, as well as automated control of food availability for meal feeding or pair-feeding.

For noninvasive measurement of body composition, the MMRU maintains instruments for dual x-ray absorptiometry (PIXImus, GE Healthcare) and quantitative magnetic resonance (QMR, Echo Medical).


Benefits for Investigators


The MMRU enables investigators to monitor energy balance concurrently in a large number of mice in an affordable and interpretable manner. The MMRU expands upon the Children’s Nutrition Research Center's original calorimetry core established in 2002. The expertise in the performance and interpretation of metabolic studies of the CNRC calorimetry core (also includes human and pig indirect calorimetry facilities) remains within the MMRU, and ensures that the data generated are consistently of high quality. Users can also benefit from the expertise of other MMRU scientists, who are available to help plan experimental designs and assist with data interpretation.

Pricing (per mouse)



Simultaneous indirect calorimetry, food mass monitoring plus access control, and physical activity monitoring w/ or w/o running wheels.

$18 per day

Simultaneous indirect calorimetry, food mass monitoring plus access control, physical activity, and core body temperature monitoring.

$19 per day

Simultaneous food mass monitoring plus access control

$9 per day

Treadmill use with calorimetry

$40 set-up + $8/hr

6-Lane Treadmill


PIXImus or QMR body composition measurements

$2.50 per mouse


Note: To keep costs down, MMRU requests its users perform some setup and takedown tasks for experiments.


Check MMRU Availability


Use the MMRU calendar via Outlook calendar:

  • In Outlook, click "Folder List" at the bottom left of the Outlook screen.
  • Click the + before "Public Folders" then click the + before "All Public Folders."
  • Scroll down to "BCM Pediatrics," then inside to "Nutrition."
  • Click the Calendar named "MMRU Schedule."
  • To add to favorites, right-click "MMRU Schedule" and then select "Add to Favorites."
  • Click "Calendar" (beside "Folder List" at the bottom left of the Outlook screen).

Read and Understand Investigator and MMRU Responsibilities


Investigator responsibilities:

  • Obtain the appropriate institutional approvals for MMRU (e.g., IACUC protocol, IBC protocol). For reference, the MMRU IACUC protocol number is AN-5020.
  • For mice not currently housed within the CNRF, investigator must organize the transfer as discussed in "Procedure for Requesting Use of Facilities."
  • Investigator, investigtor's staff or students must be in the CNRF at 8:30 a.m. on the days when experiments start and finish, unless otherwise instructed by Firoz Vohra.
  • Provide mice with the correct diet (in a powdered form) in accordance with an approved IACUC protocol. Check for sufficient food in the feeders at least every other day.
  • Provide mice with water; check water at the same time as food.
  • For long-term studies, cages and water must be changed a minimum of once every 5 days.
  • Implantation of telemetric devices (training provided by MMRU upon request).
  • Provide Firoz Vohra an Excel spreadsheet with the IDs, genotype, diet, sex, and date-of-birth of the mice, and beginning body weight, prior to placement within CLAMS cages.
  • Decide whether acclimatization of mice within the CLAMS cages is performed prior to data measurements (an acclimatization period of 2-3 days is strongly recommended).
  • Check your cages and the mouse in each cage daily (including weekends). You will then complete the CHECK SHEET to verify that the food, water, and health status of each mouse is OK.
  • Clean treadmill and QMR mouse holders after every use.
  • Empty all feed from feeders at the end of studies.

MMRU Responsibilities

  • Supply, cleaning, and preparation of CLAMS cages
  • Calibration and programming of monitoring devices
  • Provision of conditions conducive to generation of high caliber data
  • Aid in data handling and interpretation

Select Instrument to Reserve

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