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Diet-induced obesity: rodent model for the study of obesity-related disorders

Obesity has been significantly increasing worldwide, and environmental factors such as excessive food intake and sedentary lifestyle are the main factors related to the genesis of this disease. In laboratory animals, the genesis of obesity is related mostly to genetic mutations, but this model is far from that found in humans. The use of hypercaloric or hyperlipidemic diets has been used as a model of obesity induction in animals, because of its similarity to the genesis and metabolic responses caused by obesity in humans. The objective of this review is to show the different types of diets used to induce obesity in rodents, the induced metabolic alterations, and to identify some points that should be taken into account so that the model can be effective for the study of obesity-related complications. A search was performed in the PubMed database using the following keywords: 1- "hypercaloric diet" AND "rodent", 2- "hyperlipidic diet" AND "rodent", selecting those considered the most relevant according to the following criteria: date of publication (1995-2011); the use of wild-type animals; detailed description of the diet used and analysis of biochemical and vascular parameters of interest. References were included to introduce subjects such as the increased prevalence of obesity and questions related to the genesis of obesity in humans. The model of diet-induced obesity in rodents can be considered effective when the objective is the study of the physiopathology of metabolic and vascular complications associated with obesity.

obesity; cardiovascular diseases; lipid metabolism disorders

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