Cardiovascular abnormalities in transgenic mice with reduced brown fat: an animal model of human obesity.
BACKGROUND: A new model of murine obesity has recently been developed through transgenic ablation of brown adipose tissue that manifests typical metabolic complications of obesity, including insulin resistance and non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. The cardiovascular phenotype has not been defined. METHODS AND RESULTS: Transthoracic echocardiography, aortic catheterization, isolated whole-heart studies, and morphometric histology defined cardiac structure and function in 30 transgenic mice with reduced brown fat and 30 matched wild-type controls. Obesity was indicated by a 77% increase in body weight and was accompanied by elevated systemic pressures (mean aortic blood pressure 85+/-1 versus 66+/-2 mm Hg; P<0.01), left ventricular dilation and hypertrophy (mass/body weight 4.0+/-0.2 versus 2.7+/-0.3 mg/g; P<0.01), and high cardiac output (cardiac index 3.2+/-0.4 versus 2.4+/-0.1 mL x kg(-1) x min(-1); P<0.01). Baseline functional parameters assessed in vitro were not different, but after imposition of zero-flow ischemia, significant relaxation impairment developed in obese mice. Although morphometrically determined myocyte diameters were similar, the percentage of interstitial fibrosis was significantly increased in transgenic mice compared with wild-type controls (7.5+/-2% versus 4. 2+/-0.2%; P<0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Transgenic ablation of brown adipose tissue is associated not only with obesity but also with systemic hypertension, left ventricular hypertrophy with eccentric remodeling and fibrosis, and high cardiac output, a unique constellation of findings strikingly similar to that seen in human obesity. Mice with reduced brown fat may serve as a new model for the cardiovascular morbid complications associated with obesity in humans.
Cittadini, A; Mantzoros, CS; Hampton, TG; Travers, KE; Katz, SE; Morgan, JP; Flier, JS; Douglas, PS
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