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Physiol Genomics. 1999 Jul 15;1(1):33-9.

Differential response to dietary fat in large (LG/J) and small (SM/J) inbred mouse strains.

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Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


The "large" (LG/J) and "small" (SM/J) inbred mouse strains differ for a wide variety of traits related to body size and obesity. Ninety-three LG/J and SM/J mice were divided into two treatment categories and fed a moderately high-fat diet (21% kcal fat) or a low-fat diet (12% kcal fat) from weaning to necropsy. Strain differences in obesity-related traits and differential response to dietary fat increases were analyzed using ANOVA. LG/J animals grow faster from 3 to 10 wk, have longer tails, and have heavier body weight, liver weight, and fat pad weight than SM/J animals. SM/J animals grow faster after 10 wk of age and have higher fasting glucose levels than LG/J animals. SM/J mice were more responsive to increased dietary fat than LG/J mice for growth after 10 wk, necropsy weight, liver weight, fat pad weights, and fasting glucose levels (in males). The growth from 3 to 10 wk had a much greater response in the LG/J strain, whereas tail length had no response. This pattern of dietary response is similar to that expected under the "thrifty" phenotype hypothesis. Genes affecting strain differences and the differential response of the strains to dietary fat can be successfully mapped in the intercross of the LG/J and SM/J strains. This intercross provides an excellent multigenic model for the genetic basis of complex traits and diseases related to body size and obesity.

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