Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a clustering of metabolic complications representing a premorbid condition that is a substantial public health burden. Animal models provide an opportunity to examine correlations among different metabolic parameters to understand why metabolic complications sometimes cluster and sometimes do not. This chapter provides an overview of animal models of MetS that are used to understand etiology and pathophysiology, with a focus on methods of identifying and testing candidate genes with the aim of translating results to human studies. Genetic, epigenetic, environmental, and gene-by-environmental methods and results are discussed along with important lessons learned. Rodent models are the most frequently used, however, other animal models including dogs, pigs, sheep, and nonhuman primates have contributed to our understanding of MetS and each are discussed. Additionally, animal models used to test physiological hypotheses are reviewed along with their potential to illuminate DNA sequence-metabolic function relationships to inform therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnimal Models for the Study of Human Disease
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9780124158948
ISBN (Print)9780128094686
StatePublished - Jun 28 2017


  • Candidate genes
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Environment
  • Epigenetics
  • Genome-wide association studies (GWAS)
  • Insulin resistance
  • Interaction
  • Obesity
  • Pathophysiology
  • Quantitative trait loci (QTL)


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