Nicotinamide riboside has minimal impact on energy metabolism in mouse models of mild obesity

J Endocrinol. 2021 Sep 9;251(1):111-123. doi: 10.1530/JOE-21-0123.


Supplementation with precursors of NAD has been shown to prevent and reverse insulin resistance, mitochondrial dysfunction, and liver damage in mouse models of diet-induced obesity. We asked whether the beneficial effects of supplementation with the NAD precursor nicotinamide riboside (NR) are dependent on mouse strain. We compared the effects of NR supplementation on whole-body energy metabolism and mitochondrial function in mildly obese C57BL/6N and C57BL/6J mice, two commonly used strains to investigate metabolism. Male C57BL/6N and C57BL/6J mice were fed a high-fat diet (HFD) or standard chow with or without NR supplementation for 8 weeks. Body and organ weights, glucose tolerance, and metabolic parameters as well as mitochondrial O2 flux in liver and muscle fibers were assessed. We found that NR supplementation had no influence on body or organ weight, glucose metabolism or hepatic lipid accumulation, energy expenditure, or metabolic flexibility but increased mitochondrial respiration in soleus muscle in both mouse strains. Strain-dependent differences were detected for body and fat depot weight, fasting blood glucose, hepatic lipid accumulation, and energy expenditure. We conclude that, in mild obesity, NR supplementation does not alter metabolic phenotype in two commonly used laboratory mouse strains.

Keywords: C57BL/6J; NAD; energy expenditure; high-fat diet; impaired glucose tolerance; mitochondrial function; mouse strain; vitamin B3.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Respiration / drug effects
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Evaluation
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Glucose Intolerance / prevention & control
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Niacinamide / analogs & derivatives*
  • Niacinamide / therapeutic use
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Pyridinium Compounds / therapeutic use*


  • Pyridinium Compounds
  • nicotinamide-beta-riboside
  • Niacinamide