Parabiosis between db/db and ob/ob or db/+ mice

Ruth B.S. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Genetically obese C57B1/6J-m db/db mice were parabiosed with either lean male db/+ or obese female ob/ob mice. Male db/db mice had lower serum leptin than females, and this was reflected in the amount of protein that crossed the parabiotic union into their partners. Eighteen days post operation, ob/ob partners of db/db mice had increased body temperature, lost 50% body weight and 60% body fat, but maintained carcass protein. The db/+ partners of db/db mice had a normal gut content and (by implication) food intake, did not raise their body temperature, but lost significant amounts of both lean and fat tissue during 25 days of parabiosis. The differences between the db/+ and ob/ob partners of db/db mice may be caused by leptin inhibiting growth of male mice, but not of female mice that are on a slower growth curve, or by the excess lipid in ob/ob mice sparing body protein. The db/db partners of ob/ob mice lost a small amount of body fat, but carcass protein was increased by 30%, compared with their controls. These results imply that leptin stimulated release of a circulating growth factor, possibly through activation of the long-form leptin receptor, in ob/ob partners of db/db mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-145
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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