Deconstructing and reconstructing obesity-induced diabetes (diabesity) in mice

Diabetes. 2002 Mar;51(3):825-32. doi: 10.2337/diabetes.51.3.825.


Obesity-driven type 2 diabetes (diabesity) involves complex genetic and environmental interactions to trigger disease. Here, we combine variable numbers of known quantitative trait loci (QTL) for obesity and diabetes contributed by New Zealand Obese (NZO/HlLt) and Nonobese Nondiabetic (NON/Lt) strains in the form of 10 interval-directed recombinant congenic strains (RCS), with NON/Lt as the background strain, to dissect the genetic interactions involved. All 10 RCS gain significantly more weight than the NON parental strain, but none are as obese as the parental, diabetes-prone NZO. Diabetes development in these RCS at F12 ranges between 0 and 100%, depending on genetic constitution. RCS-2, -1, and -10 represent a step-wise increase in numbers of specific diabetogenic QTL, resulting in a step-wise increase in diabetes incidence. RCS-10 recreates the 100% incidence seen in (NZOxNON)F1 males, but with less weight gain. Similarly, RCS-6, -7, -8, and -9 represent diabetes-prone strains with different combinations of diabetogenic QTL. RCS-3, -4, and -5 represent obese strains that do not transit to diabetes. Because these obesity and diabetes syndromes reflect different collections of QTL, rather than null mutations in the leptin or leptin receptor genes, they are extremely relevant as models for the polygenic obesity/diabesity syndromes in humans.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus / pathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / genetics*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / pathology
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Islets of Langerhans / pathology
  • Leptin / genetics
  • Liver / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Obese
  • Mutation
  • Obesity / genetics*
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Phenotype
  • Quantitative Trait, Heritable
  • Receptors, Cell Surface*
  • Receptors, Leptin
  • Weight Gain


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Leptin
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Leptin