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International Journal of Morphology

On-line version ISSN 0717-9502


MANDARIM-DE-LACERDA, Carlos Alberto; DEL SOL, Mariano; VASQUEZ, Bélgica  and  AGUILA, Marcia Barbosa. Mice as an Animal Model for the Study of Adipose Tissue and Obesity. Int. J. Morphol. [online]. 2021, vol.39, n.6, pp.1521-1528. ISSN 0717-9502.

The study of adipose tissue has gained increasing importance in the biomedical area due to its implications for health and obesity. Obesity is a situation of great concern mainly in the Western world due to its high prevalence and morbidity. Experimental studies on obesity often need a model where it is possible to carry out experiments, drug testing, and other therapeutic procedures, which are typically not possible in humans. Although several animals are used for obesity studies, rodents are by far the most used animals, and among rodents, mice are particularly indicated for this investigation. This mini review will introduce the challenging classification of obesity in rodents, paralleling human obesity, defining and classifying what an obese mouse is. The text will differentiate between white adipose tissue (WAT, aimed at endocrine secretion and lipogenesis) and brown adipose tissue (BAT, aimed at thermogenesis) and describe the browning process of white adipocytes in an adaptation to increase thermogenesis. The text will also describe the various types of body fat in mice with their differences and indications for investigation and teach how to recognize and dissect these fats. At the end of this introductory reading, the young researcher is expected to have acquired sufficient knowledge to start an experimental investigative project on obesity.

Keywords : Obesity; White adipose tissue; Brown adipose tissue; Fat pads; Mice.

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