Journal Club Summary

Changes in gene expression foreshadow diet-induced obesity in genetically identical mice.

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We recently discussed the paper Changes in Gene Expression Foreshadow Diet-Induced Obesity in Genetically Identical Mice. We were interested in this paper because our lab is searching for new, effective ways to describe patients who are at-risk obesity. Koza et al. placed C57BL/6J mice on a 60% high fat diet and analyzed gene expression regarding adiposity in the top 10% of weight gainers and the bottom 10% of weight gainers. The group concluded that mice within the “high gainer” category were more metabolically efficient when turning calories into body mass, leading to more food consumption. Using microarray analysis, they identified several genes (SRFP5, Naked1, BMP3, MEST) responsible for reversing the inhibition of adipogenesis, which are elevated at before the start of high fat diet in “high gainers” (as compared to “low gainers”). They propose that these genes are stable within a mouse and predispose it to weight gain independent of the diet. It would be very interesting to look at possible other factors that are causing this predisposition to obesity.

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