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Indian J Med Res. 2018 Nov;148(5):659-669. doi: 10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_1737_18.

Glucose & energy homeostasis: Lessons from animal studies.

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ICMR-National Animal Resource Facility for Biomedical Research, Hyderabad, India.


Glucose in our body is maintained within a narrow range by the humoral control and a 'lipostat' system regulated by leptin from adipose tissues, which keep our accumulated fat stores in check. Any disturbance in this delicately poised homeostasis could be disastrous as it can lead to obesity and its associated metabolic manifestations. Laboratory animals, especially rodents, have contributed to our knowledge in understanding this physiological mechanism through an array of genetic and non-genetic animals developed over the years. Two rat mutant obese models-Wistar inbred at National Institute of Nutrition (WNIN)/Ob-obese rats with normal glucose levels and WNIN/GR-Ob-obese with impaired glucose tolerance were developed in the National Centre for Laboratory Animal Sciences (Now ICMR-National Animal Resource Facility for Biomedical Research) at Hyderabad, India. These animals are unique, as, unlike the earlier models, they show all types of degenerative disorders associated with obesity, within a single system. Thus they show impairment in all the major organs of the body - liver, pancreas, kidney, bones, muscles, gonads, brain, eyes, and are sensitive to diet manipulations, have compromised immunity, often develop tumours and have reduced life span. One may argue that there are limitations to one's interpretations from animal studies to human application, but then one cannot shut one's eyes to the new lessons they have taught us in modifying our life styles.


Animal models; energy; glucose; homeostasis; immunity obesity; leptin; obesity genes; retinal disorders

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