High-fat Hypercaloric Diet Induces Obesity, Glucose Intolerance and Hyperlipidemia in Normal Adult Male Wistar Rat

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 1996 Mar;31(1-3):27-35. doi: 10.1016/0168-8227(96)01205-3.


There is strong evidence that genetic factors contribute to the development of obesity in humans as well as laboratory animals. Another important factor leading to obesity is an increase in energy intake. However, it is difficult to make normal rats obese by controlling daily food intake. There is no report of normal adult male Wistar rats becoming obese and diabetic on a high-fat diet. The aim of the present study was, therefore, to make normal adult Wistar rats obese by infusing high fat and hypercaloric diet through the cannula without disturbing the free movement and to investigate the influence of an increase in the caloric intake on body weight and glucose metabolism. High-fat hypercaloric diet (360 kcal/kg body wt./day; H group) or control diet (180 kcal/kg body wt./day; C group) was continuously infused into the stomach of normal adult male Wistar rats weighing approximately 300 g through gastric cannulas for 27 days. On day 28 after a 24-h fasting, serum concentrations of aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, total cholesterol, triglyceride, phospholipid, and free fatty acids (FFA) were determined, and intragastric glucose loading test (2 g/kg body wt.) was performed. The average weekly body weight gain in the H group was twice as much as that of the C group (40.0 +/- 2.4 vs. 19.4 +/- 1.9 g/week, P < 0.001). Serum levels of triglyceride, phospholipid, total cholesterol, and FFA were significantly elevated in the H group compared to those in the C group. Liver weight in the H group was significantly higher than that in the C group and showed steatosis. Pancreas weight (-13%) as well as protein (-12%), amylase (-53%) and trypsin content (-26%) were all reduced, whereas pancreatic DNA content was significantly increased in the H group compared to those in the C group. Serum glucose and insulin concentrations before and after glucose loading in the H group were significantly higher than those in the C group. Moreover, the insulin response relative to glucose response in the H group was significantly high compared to that in the C group, indicating the presence of insulin resistance. These results indicate that feeding of high-fat hypercaloric diet makes normal Wistar male adult rat obese associated with hyperlipidemia, hyperinsulinemia, and glucose intolerance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alanine Transaminase / blood
  • Animals
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / blood
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Weight
  • Dietary Fats*
  • Energy Intake
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood
  • Fatty Liver / etiology
  • Fatty Liver / pathology
  • Glucose Intolerance / etiology
  • Glucose Intolerance / physiopathology*
  • Hyperlipidemias / etiology
  • Hyperlipidemias / physiopathology*
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Islets of Langerhans / metabolism
  • Islets of Langerhans / pathology
  • Male
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Pancreas / pathology
  • Phospholipids / blood
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reference Values
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Fats
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Insulin
  • Phospholipids
  • Triglycerides
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases
  • Alanine Transaminase