Genetically-obese Animals

Genetically-obese Mouse


Acute, sub-chronic or chronic feeding studies can be performed in any commercially available genetically-obese rodent model including :-

     •     ob/ob mice
     •     db/db mice
     •     Zucker fatty fa/fa rats

Genetically-obese animals are monogenic ie the obesity has arisen following spontaneously occurring single gene mutations which prevent the production of the adipose hormone, leptin (ob/ob mice) or result in deficient leptin receptors (db/db mice and Zucker fatty fa/fa rats).

Genetically-obese rats and mice have been well-characterised and widely-used in obesity research. However, it is now generally accepted that genetic models of obesity do not mimic human obesity as well as animals made obese by exposure to high fat or cafeteria diets. The main reason for this is that the genetic predisposition to obesity in most humans is polygenic in nature. Single gene mutations have been linked to obesity in man but such instances are extremely rare.

Although studies in ob/ob mice, db/db mice and Zucker fatty fa/fa rats are no longer used as primary screens to measure the effects of drugs on body weight, they can still provide useful additional information regarding the antiobesity potential of novel compounds and their effects on diabetic endpoints.

Effect of Rimonabant on Body Weight in Male fa/fa Zucker Rats

Please contact us for further information about studies in genetically-obese rats and mice.


Vickers et al. 2008. Effect of rimonabant on body weight, glucose tolerance, body composition and lipolysis in fa/fa Zucker rats: A comparison with pair-fed controls. Program No. 584.18. Society for Neuroscience Meeting, Washington, DC, 15th-19th November 2008.


Cheetham and Jackson 2012. Rodent models to evaluate anti-obesity drugs. In: TRP Channel Targets for Drugs and Toxins, Volume II. A Szallasi and T Bíró (Eds), Methods in Pharmacology and Toxicology, Volume I, Springer Protocols, Humana Press, pp351-376.


Moser et al. 2014. Antidiabetic effects of the Cimicifuga racemosa extract Ze 450 in vitro and in vivo in ob/ob mice. Phytomedicine 21: 1382-1389. [PubMed]


Vickers et al. 2011. The utility of animal models to evaluate novel anti-obesity agents. Br J Pharmacol 164: 1248-1262, 2011. [PubMed]