Murine models for pharmacological studies of the metabolic syndrome

Pharmacol Ther. 2013 Mar;137(3):331-40. doi: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2012.11.004. Epub 2012 Nov 23.


Metabolic syndrome has been described as the association of insulin resistance, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and obesity. Its prevalence increased dramatically, mainly in developed countries. Animal models are essential to understand the pathophysiology of this syndrome. This review presents the murine models of metabolic syndrome the most often used in pharmacological studies. The most common metabolic syndrome models exhibit a non-functional leptin pathway, or metabolic disorders induced by high fat diets. In a first part, and after a short introduction on leptin, its receptor and mechanism of action, we provide a detailed description of each model: SHROB, SHHF, JCR:LA-cp, Zucker, ZDF, Wistar Ottawa Karlsburg W, and Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty rats, ob/ob, db/db, agouti yellow and Mc4R KO mice. The second part of this review is dedicated to metabolic syndrome models obtained by high fat feeding.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diet
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Humans
  • Leptin / genetics
  • Leptin / metabolism
  • Metabolic Syndrome* / metabolism
  • Receptors, Leptin / genetics
  • Receptors, Leptin / metabolism


  • Leptin
  • Receptors, Leptin