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  • Author or Editor: Caroline Wilkins x
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Objective—To examine whether obese cats, compared with lean cats, have alterations in lipoprotein metabolism that might lead to a decrease in glucose metabolism and insulin secretion.

Animals—10 lean and 10 obese adults cats (5 neutered males and 5 neutered females each).

Procedure—Intravenous glucose tolerance tests with measurements of serum glucose, insulin, and nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA) concentrations were performed. Lipoprotein fractions were examined in serum by isopycnic density gradient ultracentrifugation.

Results—Obese cats had insulin resistance. Plasma triglyceride and cholesterol concentrations were significantly increased in obese cats, compared with lean cats. Very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) concentrations were increased in obese cats, compared with lean cats; however, the composition of various fractions remained unchanged between obese and lean cats, indicating greater synthesis and catabolism of VLDL in obese cats. Serum high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol concentrations were increased in obese cats, compared with lean cats. Serum NEFA concentrations were only significantly different between obese and lean cats when separated by sex; obese male cats had higher baseline serum NEFA concentrations and greater NEFA suppression in response to insulin, compared with lean male cats.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Lipid metabolism changes in obese cats, compared with lean cats. The increase in VLDL turnover in obese cats might contribute to insulin resistance of glucose metabolism, whereas the increase in serum HDL cholesterol concentration might reflect a protective effect against atherosclerosis in obese cats. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:299–303)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine whether dietary fatty acids affect indicators of insulin sensitivity, plasma insulin and lipid concentrations, and lipid accumulation in muscle cells in lean and obese cats.

Animals—28 neutered adult cats.

Procedure—IV glucose tolerance tests and magnetic resonance imaging were performed before (lean phase) and after 21 weeks of ad libitum intake of either a diet high in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (3-PUFAs; n = 14) or high in saturated fatty acids (SFAs; 14).

Results—Compared with the lean phase, ad libitum food intake resulted in increased weight, body mass index, girth, and percentage fat in both groups. Baseline plasma glucose or insulin concentrations and glucose area under the curve (AUC) were unaffected by diet. Insulin AUC values for obese and lean cats fed 3-PUFAs did not differ, but values were higher in obese cats fed SFAs, compared with values for lean cats fed SFAs and obese cats fed 3-PUFAs. Nineteen cats that became glucose intolerant when obese had altered insulin secretion and decreased glucose clearance when lean. Plasma cholesterol, triglyceride, and nonesterified fatty acid concentrations were unaffected by diet. Ad libitum intake of either diet resulted in an increase in both intra- and extramyocellular lipid. Obese cats fed SFAs had higher glycosylated hemoglobin concentration than obese cats fed 3-PUFAs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In obese cats, a diet high in 3-PUFAs appeared to improve long-term glucose control and decrease plasma insulin concentration. Obesity resulted in intra- and extramyocellular lipid accumulations (regardless of diet) that likely modulate insulin sensitivity. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1090–1099)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research