A new obesity-prone, glucose-intolerant rat strain (F.DIO)

Barry E. Levin, Ambrose A. Dunn-Meynell, Julie E. McMinn, Michael Alperovich, Amy Cunningham-Bussel, Streamson C. Chua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Previous breeding for the diet-induced obese (DIO) trait from outbred Sprague-Dawley rats produced a substrain with selection characteristics suggesting a polygenic mode of inheritance. To assess this issue further, selectively bred DIO male rats were crossed with obesity-resistant inbred Fischer F344 dams. Male offspring were crossed twice more against female F344 dams. The resultant N3 (F.DIO) rats were then inbred three more times. On low-fat chow, 10-wk-old male and female DIO rats weighed 86 and 59% more than respective F344 rats. By the N3 (F.DIO) generation, they were only 12 and 10% heavier, respectively. After three additional inbreeding cycles, chow-fed F.DIO males had an exaggerated insulin response to oral glucose compared with F344 rats. After 3 wk on a 31% fat (high-energy) diet, male N3 F.DIO rats gained 16-20% more carcass and adipose weight with 98% higher plasma leptin levels, whereas F.DIO females gained 36-54% more carcass and adipose weight with 130% higher leptin levels than comparable F344 rats. After three inbreeding cycles, F.DIO males still gained more weight on high-energy diet and developed a threefold greater insulin response to oral glucose than F344 males. Preservation of the DIO and glucose intolerance traits through successive backcrosses and inbreeding cycles to produce the F.DIO strain lends further support to the idea that they inherited in a polygenic fashion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R1184-R1191
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number5 54-5
StatePublished - Nov 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Diet-induced obesity
  • Exercise
  • Food intake
  • Insulin resistance
  • Leptin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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