Submission Date


Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access




Beth Bailey

Committee Member

Simara Price

Committee Member

Xochitl Shuru

Department Chair

Rebecca Lyczak

Project Description

Obesity is a complex chronic disease that has been rapidly increasing in the United States. Cardiovascular diseases such as coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis, and hypertension have all been linked to obesity. Chronic ingestion of a high fat diet (typically seen in Western countries) has been linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Throughout time, the buildup of cholesterol contributes to plaque formation in blood vessels that may lead to long term cardiac effects or cardiovascular disease. There are many factors like gender, age, and duration of a high fat diet that may influence the initiation of obesity related pathological adaptations. Previous work in this lab has investigated the effects of long-term and short-term diet on cardiac function. This study will look at the morphological characteristics and plasma cholesterol levels in female mice fed a high-fat diet for short (5-8 weeks), long (5-6 months), and very long (10 months) durations and compare these to age-matched controls. Our goal is to compare the plasma cholesterol in female mice on a very-long term, long-term, and short-term High Fat Diet (HFD) (62% fat and 32% saturated fat). Surgically extracted and frozen (at -80 °C) plasma will be used for cholesterol analysis. The levels of plasma cholesterol will be determined through a colorimetric assay. The focus of the experiment is the analysis of plasma cholesterol, but other morphological and contractile function procedures were also performed throughout plasma isolation. We hypothesized that a prolonged high fat diet will result in a metabolic syndrome phenotype including increased body weight and visceral fat, increased liver weight, elevated levels of plasma cholesterol, elevated levels of plasma glucose. These increase levels of plasma cholesterol may lead to further cardiac long-term effects.