Title page for ETD etd-12152011-123225

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Fisher, Kimberly Denise
Author's Email Address fisherkd@vt.edu
URN etd-12152011-123225
Title Dietary manipulation causes childhood obesity-like characteristics in pigs
Degree Master of Science
Department Animal and Poultry Sciences
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Gerrard, David E. Committee Chair
Escobar, Jeffery Committee Member
Jiang, Honglin Committee Member
Scheffler, Jason M. Committee Member
  • hypercholesterolemia
  • hypoinsulinemia
  • adiposity
  • metabolic syndrome
  • hyperglycemia
Date of Defense 2011-12-01
Availability unrestricted
An animal model to study complications resulting from childhood obesity is lacking. Our objective was to develop a porcine model for studying mechanisms underlying diet-induced childhood obesity. Pre-pubertal female pigs, age 35 d, were fed a high-energy diet (HED; n = 12), containing tallow and refined sugars, or a control corn-based diet (n = 11) for 16 wk. Initially, HED pigs self-regulated energy intake similar to controls, but, by wk 5, consumed more (P < 0.001) energy per kg body weight. At wk 15 and 22, pigs were subjected to an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT); blood glucose increased (P < 0.05) in control pigs and returned to baseline levels within 60 min. HED pigs were hyperglycemic at time 0, and blood glucose did not return to baseline (P = 0.01), even 3 h post-challenge. During OGTT, glucose area under the curve was higher and insulin area under the curve was lower in HED pigs compared to controls (P = 0.001). Pigs given 6 wk of dietary intervention, consuming a control diet, marginally improved glucose area under the curve and LDL-cholesterol although insulin area under the curve was unaffected. Chronic HED intake increased (P < 0.05) subcutaneous, intramuscular, and perirenal fat deposition, and induced hyperglycemia, hypoinsulinemia, and low-density lipoprotein hypercholesterolemia; however, a 6 wk dietary intervention partially recovered a normal physiology. These data suggest pre-pubertal pigs fed HED are a viable animal model for studying childhood obesity.

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