UNIT 5.61 Overview of Animal Models of Obesity

  1. Thomas A. Lutz1,
  2. Stephen C. Woods2

Published Online: 1 SEP 2012

DOI: 10.1002/0471141755.ph0561s58

Current Protocols in Pharmacology

Current Protocols in Pharmacology

How to Cite

Lutz, T. A. and Woods, S. C. 2012. Overview of Animal Models of Obesity. Current Protocols in Pharmacology. 58:5.61:5.61.1–5.61.18.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Zurich, Institute of Veterinary Physiology, Zurich Center of Integrative Human Physiology, Zurich, Switzerland

  2. 2

    Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati Obesity Research Center, Cincinnati, Ohio

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 SEP 2012


The focus of this overview is on the animal models of obesity most commonly utilized in research. The models include monogenic models in the leptin pathway, polygenic diet-dependent models, and, in particular for their historical perspective, surgical and chemical models of obesity. However, there are far too many models to consider all of them comprehensively, especially those caused by selective molecular genetic approaches modifying one or more genes in specific populations of cells. Further, the generation and use of inducible transgenic animals (induced knock-out or knock-in) is not covered, even though they often carry significant advantages compared to traditional transgenic animals, e.g., influences of the genetic modification during the development of the animals can be minimized. The number of these animal models is simply too large to be covered in this unit. Curr. Protoc. Pharmacol. 58:5.61.1-5.61.18. © 2012 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • monogenic models;
  • polygenic models;
  • genetic engineering;
  • surgical model;
  • leptin;
  • diabetes;
  • hyperglycemia