Methodological considerations when studying the skeletal response to glucose intolerance using the diet-induced obesity model.
The prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) continues to rise, and as a result, research aimed at understanding the molecular basis for the co-morbidities has become an area of much scientific interest. Among the more recently recognized chronic complications of T2DM is the increased risk of fracture, especially hip fracture, that has been reported independent of bone mineral density (BMD). A widely used animal model to study how the development and progression of impaired glucose tolerance affect the skeleton has been the diet-induce obesity (DIO) model. As the name implies, this model employs the use of a version of high-fat diets to induce obesity and the subsequent metabolic perturbations that occur with T2DM. Although the model offers a number of advantages, the literature reveals some inconsistent results. Upon further review, discrepancies in the choice of the experimental high-fat diets and the control diets have become a point of major concern. The variability between diets and study design has made it difficult to compare data and results across studies. Therefore, this review aims to provide guidelines that should be employed when designing studies using DIO models of T2DM.