Characterization of a diet-induced obesity rat model for periodontal research
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Obesity is associated with periodontitis, but the mechanisms underlying this association have yet to be unraveled. The present investigation was to evaluate a common rat model, in which obesity is induced by high-fat, high-sucrose diet (HFSD), for its applicability in periodontal research.
Materials and methods
Ten male Wistar rats were fed a 3-month HFSD along with a matching control group. Afterwards, the body weight, adipocyte morphology, leptin and adiponectin levels in adipose tissue, gingiva, and serum as well as the serum levels of triglyceride, cholesterol, and glucose were analyzed. For statistical analyses, parametric and non-parametric tests were applied (p < 0.05).
Body weight was significantly higher in the HFSD group after dieting as compared to control. HFSD caused a significant increase in serum triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and leptin levels and a significant decrease in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Furthermore, adipose tissue from HFSD rats exhibited significantly larger adipocytes, displayed a significant upregulation of leptin and, surprisingly, elevated adiponectin levels, which is in contrast to chronic obesity in humans. Although leptin and adiponectin were also observed in gingival biopsies, no obvious differences between the groups were found.
Although this rat diet-induced obesity model is characterized by changes typical of obesity, it also has limitations, which have to be considered when data, especially with regard to adipokines, are extrapolated to humans.
The rodent diet-induced obesity model may be useful for unraveling pathomechanisms underlying the association between obesity and periodontal destruction but conclusions have to be drawn with caution.
KeywordsObesity Animal model Adipokine Gingiva Adipose tissue Serum
The authors would like to thank Prof. Heiko Spallek, Prof. Glen Kristiansen, Dr. Anja Winkler, Ms. Ramona Menden, and Ms. Silke van Dyck for their valuable support.
This study was supported by the Medical Faculty of the University of Bonn, the German Research Foundation (DFG/ KFO208/TP4/TP9), and the University of Sydney.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the University of Bonn (Az 87-51.04.2010.A394).
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