Open Access

Temporal characterization of the insulin resistance during puberty in mice


Objectives. The onset of puberty in humans is followed by an increase in insulin resistance and this transient phenomenon decreases at the end of the puberty. However, the insulin resistance during puberty has not been described in mice. Thus, in the present study we performed a temporal characterization of the development of insulin resistance during puberty in male and female C57BL/6 mice.

Methods. From the fourth week of life male (n=18) and female (n=32) C57BL/6 wild-type mice were weekly subjected to insulin tolerance tests until the seventh week of life. Blood glucose levels were determined using a glucose meter through samples collected from the tail tip. Vaginal opening was assessed daily in female mice. Preputial separation was determined in a subgroup of males.

Results. We observed a transient increase in the area under the curve of the insulin tolerance tests and in basal glycemia in female mice at the time of vaginal opening (between the fourth and fifth week of life) compared with previous and subsequent weeks of pubertal development. In contrast, male mice show no changes in insulin sensitivity during puberty.

Conclusions. Our findings demonstrate that the insulin resistance at puberty can also be observed in female mice and this peak occurs at the time of vaginal opening. Our temporal characterization can be used as a reference for future studies that aim to study glucose homeostasis during puberty in rodents.