Comparison of fat storage between Fischer 344 and obesity-resistant Lou/C rats fed different diets

Obes Res. 2005 Jan;13(1):3-10. doi: 10.1038/oby.2005.3.


Objective: We aimed to characterize further the Lou/C (LOU) and Fischer 344 (F344) rat strains for nutritional traits to validate their use as contrasting strains for molecular genetic studies.

Research methods and procedures: Five batches of LOU and F344 rats were used to measure caloric intake, weight gain, and body composition when fed a chow diet, a self-selection diet (together with the study of preferences for macronutrients), hypercaloric diets, and a chow diet in a cold environment.

Results: Despite a higher caloric intake when fed a chow diet, LOU rats showed a lower weight gain, final body weight, and percentage of fat tissue, together with a higher percentage of carcass weight, than F344 rats. When fed a self-selection diet, LOU males ingested less protein and more fat than F344 males, and the reverse was observed for females. In this condition, feed efficiency was reduced in LOU but increased in F344 rats compared with the chow diet. Diet-induced obesity was observed in F344 rats but not in LOU rats fed hypercaloric diets. In a cold environment, both LOU and F344 rats displayed an increased percentage of brown adipose tissue compared with control groups, together with a higher caloric intake.

Discussion: The study shows robust nutritional differences between the LOU rat, a lean strain with a low feed efficiency and resistant to diet-induced obesity, and the contrasting F344 rat strain. It also shows the interest in these strains for studying the genetic components of resistance to obesity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / physiology
  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / physiology
  • Animals
  • Body Composition / physiology
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Dietary Fats / metabolism*
  • Eating / physiology
  • Energy Intake / physiology
  • Female
  • Male
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Organ Size / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Dietary Fats