The Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Centers (MMPCs) were founded in 2001 by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to advance biomedical research by providing the scientific community with standardized, high-quality phenotyping services for mouse models of diabetes, obesity, and their complications. The intent is to allow researchers to take optimum advantage of the many new mouse models produced in labs and in high-throughput public efforts. The six MMPCs are located at universities around the country and perform complex metabolic tests in intact mice and hormone and analyte assays in tissues on a fee-for-service basis. Testing is subsidized by the NIH in order to reduce the barriers for mouse researchers. Although data derived from these tests belong to the researcher submitting mice or tissues, these data are archived after publication in a public database run by the MMPC Coordinating and Bioinformatics Unit. It is hoped that data from experiments performed in many mouse models of metabolic diseases, using standard protocols, will be useful in understanding the nature of these complex disorders. The current areas of expertise include energy balance and body composition, insulin action and secretion, whole-body and tissue carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, cardiovascular and renal function, and metabolic pathway kinetics. In addition to providing services, the MMPC staff provides expertise and advice to researchers, and works to develop and refine test protocols to best meet the community's needs in light of current scientific developments. Test technology is disseminated by publications and through annual courses.