Sex Differences in Markers of Metabolic Syndrome and Adipose Tissue Inflammation in Obesity-Prone, Osborne-Mendel and Obesity-Resistant, S5B/Pl Rats

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Life Sciences


The current study examined the role of sex differences in the development of risk factors associated with obesity and its comorbidities using models that differ in their susceptibility to develop obesity, obesity-resistant S5B/Pl (S5B) and obesity-prone Osborne-Mendel (OM) rats. Male and female rats were fed a low fat or high fat diet (HFD) and markers of metabolic syndrome (MetSyn) and expression of inflammatory cytokines/chemokines in visceral and subcutaneous adipose depots were measured. We hypothesized that male and female OM and S5B rats would exhibit differential responses to the consumption of HFD and that females, regardless of susceptibility to develop obesity, would display decreased obesity-related risk factors. Results suggested that consumption of HFD increased adiposity and fasting glucose levels in male OM and S5B rats, decreased circulating adiponectin levels in male S5B rats, and increased body weight and triglyceride levels in male OM rats. The consumption of HFD increased body weight and adiposity in female OM rats, not female S5B rats. Overall, female rats did not meet criteria for MetSyn, while male rats consuming HFD met criteria for MetSyn. Visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue inflammation was higher in male rats. In visceral adipose tissue, HFD consumption differentially altered expression of cytokines in male and female S5B and OM rats. These findings suggest that resistance to obesity in males may be overridden by chronic consumption of HFD and lead to increased risk for development of obesity-related comorbidities, while female rats appear to be protected from the adverse effects of HFD consumption.

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