Differential effects of fat and sucrose on body composition in A/J and C57BL/6 mice

Metabolism. 1998 Nov;47(11):1354-9. doi: 10.1016/s0026-0495(98)90304-3.


The C57BL/6 (B6) mouse is more sensitive to the effects of a high-fat diet than the A/J strain. The B6 mouse develops severe obesity, hyperglycemia, and hyperinsulinemia when fed this dietary regimen. This study was conducted to determine the effects of dietary fat and sucrose concentrations on body composition and intestinal sucrase (EC and maltase (EC activity in these two mouse strains. High-fat diets, regardless of sucrose content, resulted in significant weight gain, higher body fat, and lower body protein and water content in both strains of mice. The shift toward higher body fat and lower protein and water content was far greater in the B6 strain. Low-fat, high-sucrose diets resulted in lower body weight in both strains, as well as significantly greater body protein content in B6 mice. Analysis of intestinal sucrase showed that the enzyme was less active in B6 mice when the diet was high in sucrose. Both sucrase and maltase had lower activity in the presence of high dietary fat in both mouse strains. The percent reduction of intestinal enzyme activity due to dietary fat was similar in both strains. The B6 mouse exhibits disproportionate weight gain and altered body composition on a high-fat diet. This coupled with the reduced body weight and increased body protein on a low-fat, high-sucrose diet suggests that factors-relative to fat metabolism rather than sucrose metabolism are responsible for obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Composition*
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Sucrose / administration & dosage*
  • Intestines / enzymology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Species Specificity
  • Sucrase / metabolism
  • Weight Gain
  • alpha-Glucosidases / metabolism


  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Sucrose
  • alpha-Glucosidases
  • Sucrase