Metabolic adjustments with the development, treatment, and recurrence of obesity in obesity-prone rats

Academic Article


  • Obesity is reaching epidemic proportions and predisposes afflicted individuals to several comorbidities. For these individuals, losing weight has proven to be an easier feat than maintaining a reduced weight. In obesity-prone rats, we examined if there is a metabolic propensity to regain weight after a period of significant weight loss. Twenty-four-hour energy expenditure (EE), sleeping metabolic rate (SMR), and nonprotein respiratory quotient (NPRQ) were obtained by indirect calorimetry with urinary nitrogen analysis and normalized to fat mass (FM) and fat-free mass (FFM) acquired by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Obesity-prone rats were examined after free access to a high-fat diet for 16 wk to establish the obese state. They were again examined after 2 wk of calorie restriction, which reduced body weight (14%) and FM (32%). Rats were again examined after a further 8 wk of intake-regulated weight maintenance or ad libitum feeding that led to weight regain. Metabolic data were compared with preobese and age-matched controls. Weight loss suppressed EE and SMR beyond what was expected for the change in metabolic mass. This elevated metabolic efficiency persisted throughout weight maintenance but resolved after 8 wk of regain. Adjusted NPRQ values were elevated in weight-maintained and weight-regaining rats, suggesting a preference for carbohydrate utilization. These data support the concept that weight reduction in obesity is accompanied by metabolic adjustments beyond the drive to consume calories that predispose to weight regain, and some aspects of this adjustment persist with prolonged weight maintenance and during weight regain.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • MacLean PS; Higgins JA; Johnson GC; Fleming-Elder BK; Peters JC; Hill JO
  • Volume

  • 287
  • Issue

  • 2 56-2