Dietary-Induced Obese Animals

Dietary-induced obese (DIO) mice and rats are well-established animal models of obesity.

Obesity is induced in male C57BL/6J mice by allowing them unlimited access to a high-fat diet supplying either 45% or 60% energy as fat, or in female Wistar rats by allowing them free access to a simplified cafeteria diet consisting of high-fat chow, ground chocolate and ground peanuts to mirror a typical calorie-dense Western diet. Obesity is induced in both rats and mice over a 3-4 month period.

Key features of our dietary-induced obese rat and mouse models are :

  • Weight-stable (allowing weight-loss as opposed to reduced weight gain to be
    measured)
  • Marked visceral adiposity (30-35% fat)
  • High leptin levels
  • Moderate insulin resistance (rather than overt diabetes)
  • Mild lipid abnormalities
  • Polygenic basis

Studies in dietary-induced obese mice are popular as an initial screen, as they require less compound than dietary-induced obese rats. They are also easier to perform, as mice are given their food as a single source.

 

Effect of the GLP-1 receptor agonist, liraglutide,
on body weight in dietary-induced obese mice

Effect of the GLP-1 receptor agonist, liraglutide, on body weight in dietary-induced obese mice

 

Effect of the GLP-1 receptor agonist, liraglutide,
on food intake in dietary-induced obese mice

Effect of the GLP-1 receptor agonist, liraglutide, on food intake in dietary-induced obese mice

The magnitude of weight loss produced by a variety of different drugs in dietary-induced obese, female Wistar rats correlates well with the weight loss produced in the clinic. The model is, therefore, considered to be the ‘gold standard’ for predicting the efficacy of novel anti-obesity drugs in man. However, as the rats are given three different types of food to encourage them to eat, the model is more labour-intensive and, therefore, more expensive than studies in dietary-induced obese mice. Dietary-induced obese, female Wistar rats are typically used to test compounds in development rather than as an initial screen of anti-obesity action.

Studies in dietary-induced obese rats and mice are customised for each client and can include measurements of a range of different parameters.

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