Body composition analysis to determine specificity of weight loss

Body composition analysis can be used to investigate whether weight loss is accounted for by a clinically beneficial selective loss of fat, or by producing non-specific decreases in water (dehydration) and/or protein content (muscle wasting or cachexia)., which can be harmful.

In-life assessment of body composition in mice can be performed under light anaesthesia by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). In addition, a terminal carcass composition (mouse and rat) can be performed by gold-standard chemical methods (for the assessment of fat, protein, water and ash) or by a near-infra-red analysis (FoodScan™; rat only; for the assessment of fat, protein and water).

Longitudinal DEXA measurement of body composition in DIO mice given rimonabant or switched to a low-fat diet