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Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2003 Sep;285(3):R610-8. Epub 2003 May 29.

Ontogeny of diet-induced obesity in selectively bred Sprague-Dawley rats.

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Research Diets, Inc., New Brunswick, NJ, USA.


Outbred Sprague-Dawley rats selectively bred for their propensity to develop diet-induced obesity (DIO) become heavier on low-fat diet than those bred to be diet resistant (DR) beginning at approximately 5 wk of age. Here we assessed the development of metabolic and neural functions for insights into the origins of their greater weight gain. From week 5 to week 10, chow-fed DIO rats gained 15% more body weight and ate approximately 14% more calories but had only slightly greater adiposity and plasma leptin than DR rats. From day 3 through week 10, DIO and DR rats had similar mRNA expression of arcuate nucleus neuropeptide Y, proopiomelanocortin, agouti-related peptide, and all splice variants of the leptin receptor (OB-R). When fed a high-energy (HE; 31% fat) diet, 7-wk-old DIO rats had a 240% increase in plasma leptin levels after only 3 days. Despite this early leptin rise, they maintained a persistent hyperphagia and became more obese than chow-fed DIO rats and DR rats fed chow or HE diet. Their failure to reduce caloric intake, despite high levels of leptin, suggests that selectively bred DIO rats might have reduced leptin sensitivity similar to that seen in the outbred DIO parent strain.

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