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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 351982, 14 pages
Review Article

Rodent Models for Metabolic Syndrome Research

Department of Biological and Physical Sciences, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, QLD 4350, Australia

Received 23 September 2010; Revised 1 December 2010; Accepted 2 December 2010

Academic Editor: Andrea Vecchione

Copyright © 2011 Sunil K. Panchal and Lindsay Brown. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Rodents are widely used to mimic human diseases to improve understanding of the causes and progression of disease symptoms and to test potential therapeutic interventions. Chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension, together known as the metabolic syndrome, are causing increasing morbidity and mortality. To control these diseases, research in rodent models that closely mimic the changes in humans is essential. This review will examine the adequacy of the many rodent models of metabolic syndrome to mimic the causes and progression of the disease in humans. The primary criterion will be whether a rodent model initiates all of the signs, especially obesity, diabetes, hypertension and dysfunction of the heart, blood vessels, liver and kidney, primarily by diet since these are the diet-induced signs in humans with metabolic syndrome. We conclude that the model that comes closest to fulfilling this criterion is the high carbohydrate, high fat-fed male rodent.