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Open Access Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetes Mellitus in Cynomolgus Monkeys: Changes in Carbohydrate Metabolism, Skin Glycation, and Pancreatic Islets

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Chronic hyperglycemia has been implicated in a number of diabetes mellitus-related conditions in the human population, including retinopathy, neuropathy, nephropathy, and vasculopathy. However, it has been difficult to evaluate the effect of long-term hyperglycemia in a research setting because of the disease's slow progression. In this study, we used streptozotocin (30 mg/kg of body weight, intravenously) to induce a state of chronic hyperglycemia in eight cynomolgus monkeys, and compared these monkeys with a matched control group (n = 8). Seven of eight monkeys with streptozotocin-induced diabetes required insulin therapy to avoid ketosis. After disease induction, all diabetic monkeys had significantly higher preprandial plasma glucose and glycated hemoglobin values, compared with their baseline values or values for control monkeys. Diabetic monkeys also had abnormal responses to an intravenous glucose tolerance test. Consistent with the chronic hyperglycemic state and formation of advanced glycation end products, diabetic monkeys had a significant increase in skin fluorescence over the course of the 6-month study. Plasma triglyceride and cholesterol concentrations increased, but not significantly so, in the diabetic monkeys after disease induction and were not significantly different from concentrations in control monkeys. Six months after disease induction, monkeys were necropsied, and immunohistochemical staining for insulin in the pancreatic islets indicated that diabetic monkeys had a significantly decreased amount of staining for the hormone. The percentage of islet insulin staining was significantly correlated with physiologic responses to the postinduction intravenous glucose tolerance test in all monkeys. Because cynomolgus monkeys are well-characterized models of atherosclerosis, this model may be useful for determining mechanisms whereby diabetes mellitus increases cardiovascular disease.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Comparative Medicine, Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 2: Department of Internal Medicine, Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 3: Departments of Comparative Medicine, Internal Medicine, Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University, Medical Center Blvd., Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1040

Publication date: 01 April 1998

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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