Phenotypic characterization of LEA rat: A new rat model of nonobese type 2 diabetes

Tadashi Okamura, Xiang Yuan Pei, Ichiro Miyoshi, Yukiko Shimizu, Rieko Takanashi-Yanobu, Yasumasa Mototani, Takao Kanai, Jo Satoh, Noriko Kimura, Noriyuki Kasai

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Animal models have provided important information for the genetics and pathophysiology of diabetes. Here we have established a novel, nonobese rat strain with spontaneous diabetes, Long-Evans Agouti (LEA) rat derived from Long-Evans (LE) strain. The incidence of diabetes in the males was 10% at 6 months of age and 86% at 14 months, while none of the females developed diabetes. The blood glucose level in LEA male rats was between 200 and 300 mg/dl at 120 min according to OGTT. The glucose intolerance in correspondence with the impairment of insulin secretion was observed in male rats, which was the main cause of diabetes in LEA rats. Histological examination revealed that the reduction of β-cell mass was caused by progressive fibrosis in pancreatic islets in age-dependent manner. The intracytoplasmic hyaline droplet accumulation and the disappearance of tubular epithelial cell layer associated with thickening of basement membrane were evident in renal proximal tubules. The body mass index and glycaemic response to exogenous insulin were comparable to those of control rats. The unique characteristics of LEA rat are a great advantage not only to analyze the progression of diabetes, but also to disclose the genes involved in type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Original languageEnglish
Article number986462
JournalJournal of Diabetes Research
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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