Acute and sustained inflammation and metabolic dysfunction induced by high refined carbohydrate-containing diet in mice

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2013 Sep;21(9):E396-406. doi: 10.1002/oby.20230. Epub 2013 May 21.


Objective: The effects of high-refined carbohydrate-containing diet (HC) on inflammatory parameters and metabolic disarrangement of adipose tissue are poorly understood. The aim of this study was to evaluate the timing and progression of metabolic and inflammatory dysfunction induced by HC diet in mice.

Design and methods: BALB/c mice were fed chow or HC diet for 1 and 3 days, 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 weeks.

Results: Animals given HC diet exhibited acute and sustained increase in visceral adiposity, glucose intolerance, low insulin sensitivity, hyperlipemia, acute increase in mRNA expression of ACC, LPL, PPARγ, SREBP-1, and ChREBP and altered circulating levels of adiponectin, resistin, and leptin. There was leucocyte rolling and adhesion on adipose tissue microvessels already at 3 days and until 8 weeks of HC diet. Adipose tissue of mice had increased number of macrophages (M1 and M2), lymphocytes (CD8+ and CD4+ Foxp3+), and neutrophils (GR1+) already at 3 days after initiation of HC diet. Overall, concentration of cytokines and chemokines, TNF-α, IL-6, IL-10, TGF-β1, CCL2, and CXCL1, in adipose tissue was elevated throughout the experimental period. Levels of IL-10 and TGF-β1 tended to reach baseline levels at 12 weeks of HC diet.

Conclusions: We describe a novel murine model of fat pad expansion induced by HC diet that is characterized by early onset and sustained adipose tissue inflammation and metabolic disarrangement. The acute inflammatory response in adipose tissue occurs very early and is sustained, suggesting that adipose tissue inflammation is a homeostatic mechanism to regulate nutrient overload and adipose expansion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetyl-CoA Carboxylase / genetics
  • Acetyl-CoA Carboxylase / metabolism
  • Adipokines / blood
  • Adipose Tissue* / drug effects
  • Adipose Tissue* / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Diet / adverse effects*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / adverse effects*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Glucose Intolerance / etiology
  • Glucose Intolerance / metabolism
  • Hyperlipidemias / etiology
  • Hyperlipidemias / metabolism
  • Inflammation / etiology*
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism*
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Leukocytes / metabolism
  • Lipoprotein Lipase / genetics
  • Lipoprotein Lipase / metabolism
  • Male
  • Metabolic Diseases / etiology*
  • Metabolic Diseases / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Microvessels
  • Obesity, Abdominal / chemically induced
  • Obesity, Abdominal / complications*
  • Obesity, Abdominal / metabolism
  • Obesity, Abdominal / pathology
  • PPAR gamma / genetics
  • PPAR gamma / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Protein 1 / genetics
  • Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Protein 1 / metabolism


  • Adipokines
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • PPAR gamma
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Protein 1
  • Lipoprotein Lipase
  • Acetyl-CoA Carboxylase