Nutrient preference and diet-induced adiposity in C57BL/6ByJ and 129P3/J mice

Physiol Behav. 2001 Mar;72(4):603-13. doi: 10.1016/s0031-9384(01)00412-7.


Purified carbohydrates and fats are usually palatable to humans and other animals, and their consumption often induces weight gain and accumulation of fat. In this study, we examined consumption of complex carbohydrates (cornstarch and Polycose) and fats (soybean oil and margarine) in mice from two inbred strains, C57BL/6ByJ and 129P3/J. At lower concentrations of liquid nutrients tested using two-bottle tests, when the amounts consumed had negligible energy content, the C57BL/6ByJ mice had higher acceptance of Polycose and soybean oil. This was probably due to strain differences in chemosensory perception of Polycose and oil. At higher concentrations, the mice consumed a substantial part of their daily energy from the macronutrient sources, however, there were no or only small strain differences in nutrient consumption. These small differences were probably due to strain variation in body size. The two strains also did not differ in chow intake. Despite similar energy intakes, access to the nutrients resulted in greater body weight (BW) gain in the C57BL/6ByJ mice than in the 129P3/J mice. The diet-induced weight gain was examined in detail in groups of 2-month-old C57BL/6ByJ and 129P3/J mice given ether chow, or chow and margarine to eat. Access to margarine did not increase total energy consumption of either strain. It increased BW and adiposity of the C57BL/6ByJ mice, but only after they reached the age of approximately 3 months. There were no differences in BW and adiposity between control and margarine-exposed 129P3/J mice. The results suggest that diet-induced adiposity in the B6 mice depends on age and does not depend on hyperphagia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Composition / drug effects
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / pharmacology
  • Dietary Fats / pharmacology
  • Fat Substitutes
  • Female
  • Food Preferences / physiology*
  • Glucans / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Margarine
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Obesity / psychology*


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats
  • Fat Substitutes
  • Glucans
  • Margarine