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Sleeve Gastrectomy Reduces Body Weight and Improves Metabolic Profile also in Obesity-Prone Rats



Susceptibility to obesity is associated with a notable inter-individual variation. The aim of the present study was to compare the effectiveness of sleeve gastrectomy (SG) on weight loss and metabolic profile in obesity-prone (OP) rats vs animals that are non-susceptible to obesity (NSO).


Young male Wistar rats (n = 101) were put in a diet-induced obesity (DIO) programme with ad libitum access to a high-fed diet (HFD) during 12 months. Body weight and food intake were regularly registered. Thereafter, rats were ranked by final body weight to identify the obesity-prone (OP) (n = 13) and non-susceptible to obesity (NSO) (n = 14) animals. OP and NSO rats were submitted to surgical interventions (sham operation, SG and pair-fed to the amount of food eaten by sleeve-gastrectomized rats). Body weight, food intake, energy expenditure, body temperature, fat pads weight, and metabolic profiling were analysed 4 weeks after surgical or dietary interventions.


SG in both OP and NSO rats decreased body weight as compared to sham and pair-fed groups (P < 0.05), mainly due to reductions in subcutaneous and perirenal fat mass (P < 0.001). Total weight loss achieved in sleeve-gastrectomized OP and NSO rats was higher than that of pair-fed ones (P < 0.05), showing that the SG effect goes beyond caloric restriction. In this regard, sleeve-gastrectomized rats exhibited significantly (P < 0.05) increased basal rectal temperature together with upregulated brown adipose tissue Ucp-1 protein expression levels. A significant (P < 0.05) improvement in insulin sensitivity was also observed in both OP and NSO animals that underwent SG as compared with pair-fed counterparts.


Our findings provide the first evidence that obesity-prone rats also benefit from surgery responding effectively to SG, as evidenced by the significant body weight reduction and the metabolic profile improvement.

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Fig. 1
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Brown adipose tissue


Body weight


Diet-induced obesity


Energy expenditure


Epididymal white adipose tissue


Free fatty acids


High-fat diet


Homeostasis model assessment


Normal diet






Perirenal white adipose tissue


Quantitative insulin sensitivity check index


Respiratory exchange ratio


Room temperature


Subcutaneous white adipose tissue




Total weight loss


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We gratefully acknowledge the valuable collaboration of all the staff of the breeding house of the University of Navarra.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Gema Frühbeck.

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Conflict of Interest

R.M., S.B., A.R., L.M.-G., B.R., V.C., J.G.-A., M.J.G., S.F., J.A.-C., V.V. and G.F. declare that they have no conflict of interest.

This article does not contain any studies with human participants.


This work was supported by grants from the Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Fondo de Investigación Sanitaria (FIS PI12/00515), from the Department of Health (48/2011 and 58/2011) of the Gobierno de Navarra and from the CIBER de Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBEROBN), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Spain.

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Rafael Moncada and Sara Becerril contributed equally to this work.

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Moncada, R., Becerril, S., Rodríguez, A. et al. Sleeve Gastrectomy Reduces Body Weight and Improves Metabolic Profile also in Obesity-Prone Rats. OBES SURG 26, 1537–1548 (2016).

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  • Susceptibility
  • Obesity phenotypes
  • Obesity-prone
  • Diet-induced obesity
  • Sleeve gastrectomy