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Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2000 Apr;278(4):R797-805.

Macronutrient diet selection in thirteen mouse strains.

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Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70808-4124, USA.


The strain distribution for macronutrient diet selection was described in 13 mouse strains (AKR/J, NZB/B1NJ, C57BL/6J, C57BL/6ByJ, DBA/2J, SPRET/Ei, CD-1, SJL/J, SWR/J, 129/J, BALB/cByJ, CAST/Ei, and A/J) with the use of a self-selection protocol in which separate carbohydrate, fat, and protein diets were simultaneously available for 26-30 days. Relative to carbohydrate, nine strains consumed significantly more calories from the fat diet; two strains consumed more calories from carbohydrate than from fat (BALB/cByJ, CAST/Ei). Diet selection by SWR/J mice was variable over time, resulting in a lack of preference. One strain (A/J) failed to adapt to the diet paradigm due to inadequate protein intake. Comparisons of proportional fat intake across strains revealed that fat selection/consumption ranged from 26 to 83% of total energy. AKR/J, NZB/B1NJ, and C67BL/6J mice self-selected the highest proportion of dietary fat, whereas the CAST/Ei and BALB/cByJ strains chose the lowest. Finally, epididymal fat depot weight was correlated with fat consumption. There were significant positive correlations in AKR/J and C57BL/6J mice, which are highly sensitive to dietary obesity. However, absolute fat intake was inversely correlated with epididymal fat in two of the lean strains: SWR/J and CAST/Ei. We hypothesize that the SWR/J and CAST/Ei strains are highly sensitive to a negative feedback signal generated by increasing body fat, but the AKR/J and C67BL/6J mice are not. The variation in dietary fat selection across inbred strains provides a tool for dissecting the complex genetics of this trait.

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