Caloric Restriction Chronically Impairs Metabolic Programming in Mice

  1. Kirk M. Habegger1
  1. 1Department of Internal Medicine, Metabolic Diseases Institute, Division of Endocrinology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
  2. 2Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition, Charité-Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, Berlin, Germany
  1. Corresponding author: Kirk M. Habegger, habeggkk{at}ucmail.uc.edu.

Abstract

Although obesity rates are rapidly rising, caloric restriction remains one of the few safe therapies. Here we tested the hypothesis that obesity-associated disorders are caused by increased adipose tissue as opposed to excess dietary lipids. Fat mass (FM) of lean C57B6 mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD; FMC mice) was “clamped” to match the FM of mice maintained on a low-fat diet (standard diet [SD] mice). FMC mice displayed improved glucose and insulin tolerance as compared with ad libitum HFD mice (P < 0.001) or SD mice (P < 0.05). These improvements were associated with fewer signs of inflammation, consistent with the less-impaired metabolism. In follow-up studies, diet-induced obese mice were food restricted for 5 weeks to achieve FM levels identical with those of age-matched SD mice. Previously, obese mice exhibited improved glucose and insulin tolerance but showed markedly increased fasting-induced hyperphagia (P < 0.001). When mice were given ad libitum access to the HFD, the hyperphagia of these mice led to accelerated body weight gain as compared with otherwise matched controls without a history of obesity. These results suggest that although caloric restriction on a HFD provides metabolic benefits, maintaining those benefits may require lifelong continuation, at least in individuals with a history of obesity.

Footnotes

  • Received November 28, 2011.
  • Accepted May 18, 2012.

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  1. Diabetes vol. 61 no. 11 2734-2742
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