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Open Access The Effects of Diet Composition on Body Fat and Hepatic Steatosis in an Animal (Peromyscus californicus) Model of the Metabolic Syndrome

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The objective of this research was to determine body composition, total fat content, fat distribution, and serum leptin concentration in hyperlipidemic (high responder, HR) and normolipidemic (low responder, LR) California mice (Peromyscus californicus). In our initial experiments, we sought to determine whether differences in regional fat storage were associated with hyperlipidemia in this species. To further characterize the hepatic steatosis in the mice, we performed 2 additional experiments by using a diet containing 45% of energy as fat. The body fat content of mice fed a low fat-diet (12.3% energy as fat) was higher than that of mice fed a moderate-fat diet (25.8% energy as fat). Total body fat did not differ between HR and LR mice. There was no significant difference between intraabdominal, gonadal, or inguinal fat pad weights. Liver weights of HR mice fed the moderate-fat diet were higher than those of LR mice fed the same diet, and the moderate-fat diet was associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFL). Mice fed the 45% diet had higher histologic score for steatosis but very little inflammatory response. Chemical analysis indicated increased lipid in the livers of mice fed the high-fat diet compared with those fed the low-fat diet. HR and LR mice had similar serum leptin concentrations. California mice develop NAFL without excess fat accumulation elsewhere. NAFL was influenced by genetic and dietary factors. These mice may be a naturally occuring model of partial lipodystrophy.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: The Research Animal Resources Center and University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin;, Email: 2: University of Virginia Department of Medicine, Charlottesville 3: Office of the Provost, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 4: Abbott Global Pharmaceutical Research, Abbott Park, Illinois 5: Obetech, Richmond, Virginia 6: Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin

Publication date: 2011-02-01

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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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