Adipose tissue in genetically obese rodents

  • Margaret Ashwell
  • C. J. Meade


  1. (1)

    Genetically determined obesity in rodents is associated with fat cell hypertrophy (always) and hyperplasia (often).

  2. (2)

    Fat cell hypertrophy can be detected in obese rodents in the early postnatal period.

  3. (3)

    Although studies of adipose tissue metabolism from obese and lean animals have produced contradictory results, adipose tissue of obese rodents is generally agreed to be geared towards fat storage and away from fat breakdown. This is particularly true for young animals in the dynamic phase of obesity.

  4. (4)

    Fat transplantation experiments using a wide range of genetically obese rodents indicate that adipose tissue hypertrophy is readily reversible. Host environment is more important than intrinsic factors in determining the size of fat cells in grafts.

  5. (5)

    Since fat cell size increases so early in obese rodents, yet, from transplantation experiments, is likely to be a secondary defect, the primary defect in genetically obese rodents must therefore be present in the immediate post-natal period, if not prenatally.



Adipose Tissue Diabetic Mouse Obese Mouse Lean Mouse Epididymal Adipose Tissue 
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Copyright information

© The Medical Research Council 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret Ashwell
    • 1
  • C. J. Meade
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Clinical Investigation and Transplantation Biology SectionClinical Research CentreHarrow, MiddlesexUK
  2. 2.Lilly Research Centre LtdEarlwood ManorWindlesham, SurreyUK

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