Diet-Induced Type II Diabetes in C57BL/6J Mice

  1. Mark N Feinglos
  1. Departments of Psychiatry, Pharmacology, and Medicine, Duke University Medical Center Durham, North Carolina
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Richard S. Surwit, Duke University Medical Center, Box 3842, Durham, NC 27710.


We investigated the effects of diet-induced obesity on glucose metabolism in two strains of mice, C57BL/6J and A/J. Twenty animals from each strain received ad libitum exposure to a high–fat high-simple-carbohydrate diet or standard Purina Rodent Chow for 6 mo. Exposure to the high-fat, high-simple-carbohydrate, low-fiber diet produced obesity in both A/J and C57BL/6J mice. Whereas obesity was associated with only moderate glucose intolerance and insulin resistance in A/J mice, obese C57BL/6J mice showed clear-cut diabetes with fasting blood glucose levels of >240 mg/dl and blood insulin levels of >150 μU/ml. C57BL/6J mice showed larger glycemic responses to stress and epinephrine in the lean state than AJ mice, and these responses were exaggerated by obesity. These data suggest that the C57BL/6J mouse carries a genetic predisposition to develop non-insulin-dependent (type II) diabetes. Futhermore, altered glycemic response to adrenergic stimulation may be a biologic marker for this genetic predisposition to develop type II diabetes.

  • Received February 16, 1988.
  • Revision received April 5, 1988.
  • Accepted April 5, 1988.
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