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Comp Med. 2012 Oct;62(5):348-60.

Anatomic, hematologic, and biochemical features of C57BL/6NCrl mice maintained on chronic oral corticosterone.

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  • 1Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Weill Cornell Medical College, and The Rockefeller University, New York, NY, USA.


Metabolic syndrome is a condition that typically includes central obesity, insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, dyslipidemia, and hypertension. Disruption of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, a regulator of corticosterone secretion, occurs in some cases of metabolic syndrome and obesity, and Cushing hypercortisolemia is associated with obesity and metabolic disorders. We therefore assessed anatomic and clinical pathology in C57BL/6NCrl mice to evaluate the effects of chronic corticosterone in the drinking water at doses of 25, 50, and 100 μg/mL for 25 d. Treated mice developed obesity, glucose intolerance, electrolyte aberrations, and dyslipidemia that were dose-dependent and most severe in the 100-mu;g/mL treatment group. To evaluate return to normal function, additional C57BL/6NCrl mice received corticosterone-free water for 2 wk after the 25-d treatment period. According to results of gross examination, mice appeared to recover within days of exogenous corticosterone withdrawal; however, adrenal gland vacuolation and protein, lipid, and electrolyte abnormalities persisted. Together, these findings support chronic corticosterone exposure through the drinking water as a potentially useful, noninvasive method to induce some features of metabolic syndrome.

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