Calculation of Glucose Dose for Intraperitoneal Glucose Tolerance Tests in Lean and Obese Mice

J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci. 2017 Jan 1;56(1):95-97.


Glucose tolerance tests are used frequently in nonclinical research with laboratory animals, for example during characterization of obese phenotypes. Despite published standard operating procedures for glucose tolerance tests in rodents, how glucose doses should be calculated when obese and lean animals are compared is not well documented. Typically the glucose dose is calculated as 2 g/kg body weight, regardless of body composition. With this approach, obese mice receive larger glucose doses than do lean animals, potentially leading to overestimation of glucose intolerance in obese animals. In this study, we performed intraperitoneal glucose tolerance tests in mice with diet-induced obesity and their lean controls, with glucose doses based on either the total body weight or the lean body mass of the animals. To determine glucose tolerance, we determined the blood glucose AUC during the glucose tolerance test. We found that the blood glucose AUC was increased significantly in obese mice compared with lean mice by 75% on average when glucose was dosed according to the lean body mass and by 87% when the glucose dose was calculated according to total body weight. Therefore, mice with diet-induced obesity were approximately equally glucose intolerant between the 2 dose-calculation protocols. However, we recommend calculating the glucose dose according to the lean body mass of the mice, because doing so eliminates the concern regarding overdosing of obese animals.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • Body Composition
  • Body Weight
  • Diet
  • Glucose / administration & dosage*
  • Glucose Tolerance Test / methods
  • Glucose Tolerance Test / veterinary*
  • Insulin / blood
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Obese
  • Obesity


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Glucose