Macronutrient diet selection in thirteen mouse strains

Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2000 Apr;278(4):R797-805. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.2000.278.4.R797.


The strain distribution for macronutrient diet selection was described in 13 mouse strains (AKR/J, NZB/B1NJ, C57BL/6J, C57BL/6ByJ, DBA/2J, SPRET/Ei, CD-1, SJL/J, SWR/J, 129/J, BALB/cByJ, CAST/Ei, and A/J) with the use of a self-selection protocol in which separate carbohydrate, fat, and protein diets were simultaneously available for 26-30 days. Relative to carbohydrate, nine strains consumed significantly more calories from the fat diet; two strains consumed more calories from carbohydrate than from fat (BALB/cByJ, CAST/Ei). Diet selection by SWR/J mice was variable over time, resulting in a lack of preference. One strain (A/J) failed to adapt to the diet paradigm due to inadequate protein intake. Comparisons of proportional fat intake across strains revealed that fat selection/consumption ranged from 26 to 83% of total energy. AKR/J, NZB/B1NJ, and C67BL/6J mice self-selected the highest proportion of dietary fat, whereas the CAST/Ei and BALB/cByJ strains chose the lowest. Finally, epididymal fat depot weight was correlated with fat consumption. There were significant positive correlations in AKR/J and C57BL/6J mice, which are highly sensitive to dietary obesity. However, absolute fat intake was inversely correlated with epididymal fat in two of the lean strains: SWR/J and CAST/Ei. We hypothesize that the SWR/J and CAST/Ei strains are highly sensitive to a negative feedback signal generated by increasing body fat, but the AKR/J and C67BL/6J mice are not. The variation in dietary fat selection across inbred strains provides a tool for dissecting the complex genetics of this trait.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Animals
  • Diet
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / pharmacology
  • Dietary Fats / pharmacology
  • Eating / physiology
  • Epididymis / physiology
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred A
  • Mice, Inbred AKR
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred DBA
  • Mice, Inbred NZB
  • Mice, Inbred Strains*
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Organ Size
  • Taste / physiology


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats