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Open Access Gender-associated Differences in Metabolic Syndrome-related Parameters in Göttingen Minipigs

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Gender-associated differences in pathophysiology and treatment of disease are an evolving area in human medicine that should be addressed in animal models. The aim of this study was to characterize gender differences in metabolic parameters of Göttingen minipigs and to determine which gender has the metabolic profile that is most appropriate as a model for human metabolic syndrome. Blood samples were collected from fasted, lean male and female Göttingen minipigs at 8 wk and 8 mo of age. Samples were analyzed for glucose, fructosamine, insulin, C-peptide, glucagon, triglycerides, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c), free fatty acids, leptin, testosterone, and 17-estradiol. Insulin sensitivity and beta cell function were estimated by homeostasis model assessment and degree of obesity by measuring the abdominal circumference. Male minipigs had higher concentrations of both testosterone and estradiol. Female minipigs had a larger abdominal circumference and higher concentrations of C-peptide, insulin, triglyceride, total cholesterol, HDL-c and leptin but a lower concentration of free fatty acids and lower HDL-c:total cholesterol ratio. Compared with male minipigs, female minipigs were more insulin-resistant and had a higher beta-cell function. No gender-associated differences were found in any of the other investigated parameters. In conclusion, female minipigs were more obese and insulin-resistant and had a more atherogenic plasma profile than did their male counterparts and therefore may be better models for metabolic syndrome. Their high concentrations of both testosterone and estradiol may protect male minipigs from obesity and metabolic disturbances.

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Publication date: 2007-10-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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