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Perioperative support reduces mortality of obese BALB/c mice after ovariectomy

Abstract

The incidence of obesity is on the rise in most western countries and represents major risks to health. Obesity causes complex metabolic dysfunctions and can be associated with a large number of secondary diseases. To investigate causal mechanisms of obesity and develop better options for treatment, researchers study the condition in animal models. In addition to genetically engineered animal models, diet-induced obesity is often used because it occurs similarly in animals as it does in humans. For several types of investigations that use obesity models, investigators must carry out surgical interventions and they frequently encounter severe perioperative complications induced by anesthesia. In an example of this problem, we observed 100% mortality in obese BALB/c mice after ovariectomy, despite no obvious surgical complications. We supposed that a failure to recover from surgery was the primary cause of this increased mortality. Therefore, to support their recovery from surgery we administered atropine to obese mice in order to facilitate blood circulation, and we also increased the oxygen content of the ambient air. With this specific support before and after surgery, we increased the survival rate of obese ovariectomized mice up to 83%. These results confirm the assumption that obesity is a risk factor for the recovery of obese animal models after ovariectomy, and they highlight the need to provide additional interventions for such experimental animals.

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Figure 1: Timeline of the treatment that was administered to obese mice before, during and after surgery.
Figure 2: Perioperative treatment of obese mice.
Figure 3: Body weights of control and obese mice.
Figure 4: Gross depictions of fat mass in mice.
Figure 5: Survival rates of mice that received surgical operations with or without a perioperative treatment regimen.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Anette Molzahn for her support during the development of the atropine injection regimen. The study was supported by the Danone Foundation, Haar, Germany.

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Correspondence to Laura Mattheis.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Mattheis, L., Jung, JS., Hiebl, B. et al. Perioperative support reduces mortality of obese BALB/c mice after ovariectomy. Lab Anim 45, 262–267 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/laban.1042

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