• Stern, Judith S (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Obesity/overnutrition in humans makes a major contribution to increased
morbidity of chronic diseases such as diabetes, coronary heart disease,
some types of cancer, and hypertension, and is associated with increased
mortality. Over the past few years, NIH has funded at least 14 separate
longevity studies (plus/minus food restriction) using relatively lean
rodent models such as Fischer 344 and Sprague-Dawley rats. However, few
studies of aging have been done using genetically obese rodents which
have otherwise been well characterized with respect to their metabolic
and behavioral abnormalities. This, in part may reflect the lack of
availability of large numbers of specific pathogen free (SPF) genetically
obese animal models to do well controlled studies. Carefully designed
studies of obesity and aging are critical to laying a sound foundation
for future mechanistic studies of aging and genetic obesity at the
cellular and subcellular level. This proposal will test a series of five
hypotheses related to genetic obesity, gender, and aging. These
hypotheses will be tested using a well studied animal model of obesity,
the Zucker fatty rat (fafa) that is hyperphagic, hyperinsulinemic and
insulin resistant, but not diabetic. Obese groups for each gender pair-
fed to lean rats will be included. By using SPF male and female obese
and lean rats we will be able to study pathology associated with
obesity/gender and not endemic disease that can alter the aging process.
Hypothesis #1: Genetic obesity will result in decreased median lifespan
and 10th percentile survivorship, and will be related, in part, to the
lifetime increase in food intake in obese animals. In conclusion, this
animal model should prove to be highly relevant to the human condition
since obesity is a major problem in the United States and is associated
with increased morbidity and mortality. At UC Davis we have a well
established colony of SPF Zucker obese and lean rats. The collective
experience of our team in obesity, aging and in methodologies for
longevity studies, uniquely suited to carry out critical experiments and
offers an unparalled opportunity to begin to study the interaction of
gender/genetic obesity with the aging process.
Effective start/end date1/1/9312/31/95


  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health


  • Medicine(all)


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