A Comprehensive Morphometric Study of Visceral and Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue Depots in Mice, Hamsters and Rats

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Dejan Miljkovic; Jovana Drljaca; Aleksandra Lovrenski & Milica Gajic


Adipose tissue morphology of different fat tissue depots can be described using the number of adipocytes and cell surface of adipocytes. This study deals with characteristics and morphometric analysis of white and brown adipose tissue depots in healthy adult laboratory mice, hamsters and rats of both sexes. The number of unilocular adipocytes in white adipose tissue differs from one adipose tissue depot to another, with the largest number of adipocytes in mice and a similar number in hamsters and rats. The smallest surface area and the largest percentage of small unilocular adipocytes were found in mice. White adipose tissue in hamsters and rats was predominantly made out of a larger percentage of medium-sized adipocytes and a smaller percentage of small and medium-sized adipocytes. Uncoupling protein 1 positive multilocular adipocytes were found in classic brown adipose tissue depots with larger percentages in mice (93.20 %) and hamsters (91.30 %), while rats had a smaller percentage (78.10 %). In white and brown adipose tissue, significant differences between species and both sexes within the same species were found, indicating the influence of sexual dimorphism. The presented morphometric results could serve as a basis for further studies concerning experimental animal models of metabolic disorders and obesity.

KEY WORDS: Mouse; Hamster; Rat; White adipose tissue; Brown adipose tissue.

How to cite this article

MILJKOVIC, D.; DRLJACA, J.; LOVRENSKI, A. & GAJIC, M. A comprehensive morphometric study of visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue depots in mice, hamsters and rats. Int. J. Morphol., 40(5):1219-1227, 2022.