The male obese Wistar diabetic fatty rat is a new model of extreme insulin resistance.

S. F. Greene, P. R. Johnson, K. C. Eiffert, M. R. Greenwoodt, J. S. Stern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The male obese Wistar Diabetic Fatty (WDF) rat is a genetic model of obesity and non-insulin dependent diabetes (NIDDM). The obese Zucker rat shares the same gene for obesity on a different genetic background but is not diabetic. This study evaluated the degree of insulin resistance in both obese strains by examining the binding and post binding effects of muscle insulin receptors in obese rats exhibiting hyperinsulinemia and/or hyperglycemia. Insulin receptor binding and affinity and tyrosine kinase activity were measured in skeletal muscle from male WDF fa/fa (obese) and Fa/? (lean) and Zucker fa/fa (obese) and Fa/Fa (homozygous lean) rats. Rats were fed a high sucrose (68% of total Kcal) or Purina stock diet for 14 weeks. At 27 weeks of age, adipose depots were removed for adipose cellularity analysis and the biceps femoris muscle was removed for measurement of insulin binding and insulin-stimulated receptor kinase activity. Plasma glucose (13.9 vs. 8.4 mM) and insulin levels (14,754 vs. 7440 pmol/L) were significantly higher in WDF obese than in Zucker obese rats. Insulin receptor number and affinity and TK activity were unaffected by diet. Insulin receptor number was significantly reduced in obese WDF rats ( 2.778 +/- 0.617 pmol/mg protein), compared to obese Zucker rats (4.441 +/- 0.913 pmol/mg potein). Both obese strains exhibited down regulation of the insulin receptor compared to their lean controls. Maximal tyrosine kinase (TK) activity was significantly reduced in obese WDF rats (505 +/- 82 fmol/min/mg protein) compared to obese Zucker rats (1907 +/- 610 fmol/min/mg protein). Only obese WDF rats displayed a decrease in TK activity per receptor. These observations establish the obese WDF rat as an excellent model for exploring mechanisms of extreme insulin resistance, particularly post-receptor tyrosine kinase-associated defects, in non-insulin dependent diabetes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)432-443
Number of pages12
JournalObesity research.
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Endocrinology
  • Food Science
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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