Animal models of diet‐induced obesity (DIO) are commonly used in medical research for mimicking human diseases. There is no universal animal model, and careful evaluation of variety of factors needs to be considered when designing new experiments. Here, we investigated the effect of 9 weeks high‐fat diet (HFD) intervention, providing 60% energy from fat, on parameters of inflammation and insulin resistance in male C57BL/6J mice.
Six weeks old mice were initiated on regular diet (RD) or HFD providing 60 kcal energy from fat for 9 weeks. Fasting blood glucose levels were measured by glucometer, and fasting plasma levels of insulin and proinflammatory cytokines by Luminex assay. Insulin sensitivity was evaluated by using QUICKI and HOMA2 indexes.
HFD mice showed ~ 40% higher body weight and ~ 20% larger abdominal circumference, due to an increase in the white adipose tissue mass. Liver examination revealed increased size and higher hepatic lipid accumulation in livers from HFD mice compared to their RD counterparts. Animals from the HFD group were characterized with significantly higher presence of crown‐like structures (CLS) in WAT and higher plasma levels of proinflammatory cytokines (TNF‐α, IL‐6, leptin, MCP‐1, PAI‐1, and resistin). HFD‐fed mice also demonstrated impaired insulin sensitivity (lower QUICKI, higher HOMA‐insulin resistance (HOMA‐IR), and lower HOMA‐percent sensitivity (HOMA‐%S)) index values.