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Evaluating the Impact of Different Hypercaloric Diets on Weight Gain, Insulin Resistance, Glucose Intolerance, and its Comorbidities in Rats

Melo, Bernardete F., Sacramento, Joana F., Ribeiro, Maria J., Prego, Claudia S., Correia, Miguel C., Coelho, Joana C., Cunha-Guimaraes, Joao P., Rodrigues, Tiago, Martins, Ines B., Guarino, Maria P., Seiça, Raquel M., Matafome, Paulo, Conde, Silvia V.
Nutrients 2019 v.11 no.6
animal experimentation, animal models, autonomic nervous system, blood glucose, blood pressure, c-peptide, comorbidity, diet, exposure duration, fasting, genetic models, glucose, glucose tolerance, humans, hyperlipidemia, insulin resistance, lipid composition, lipids, liver, metabolic syndrome, noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, obesity, phenotype, rats, streptozotocin, sucrose, weight gain
Animal experimentation has a long history in the study of metabolic syndrome-related disorders. However, no consensus exists on the best models to study these syndromes. Knowing that different diets can precipitate different metabolic disease phenotypes, herein we characterized several hypercaloric rat models of obesity and type 2 diabetes, comparing each with a genetic model, with the aim of identifying the most appropriate model of metabolic disease. The effect of hypercaloric diets (high fat (HF), high sucrose (HSu), high fat plus high sucrose (HFHSu) and high fat plus streptozotocin (HF+STZ) during different exposure times (HF 3 weeks, HF 19 weeks, HSu 4 weeks, HSu 16 weeks, HFHSu 25 weeks, HF3 weeks + STZ) were compared with the Zucker fatty rat. Each model was evaluated for weight gain, fat mass, fasting plasma glucose, insulin and C-peptide, insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance, lipid profile and liver lipid deposition, blood pressure, and autonomic nervous system function. All animal models presented with insulin resistance and dyslipidemia except the HF+STZ and HSu 4 weeks, which argues against the use of these models as metabolic syndrome models. Of the remaining animal models, a higher weight gain was exhibited by the Zucker fatty rat and wild type rats submitted to a HF diet for 19 weeks. We conclude that the latter model presents a phenotype most consistent with that observed in humans with metabolic disease, exhibiting the majority of the phenotypic features and comorbidities associated with type 2 diabetes in humans.