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Open Access Development of Standardized Insulin Treatment Protocols for Spontaneous Rodent Models of Type 1 Diabetes

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Standardized protocols for maintaining near-normal glycemic levels in diabetic rodent models for testing therapeutic agents to treat disease are unavailable. We developed protocols for 2 common models of spontaneous type 1 diabetes, the BioBreeding diabetes-prone (BBDP) rat and nonobese diabetic (NOD) mouse. Insulin formulation, dose level, timing of dose administration, and delivery method were examined and adjusted so that glycemic levels remained within a normal range and fluctuation throughout feeding and resting cycles was minimized. Protamine zinc formulations provided the longest activity, regardless of the source of insulin. Glycemic control with few fluctuations was achieved in diabetic BBDP rats through twice-daily administration of protamine zinc insulin, and results were similar regardless of whether BBDP rats were acutely or chronically diabetic at initiation of treatment. In contrast, glycemic control could not be attained in NOD mice through administration of insulin twice daily. However, glycemic control was achieved in mice through daily administration of 0.25 U insulin through osmotic pumps. Whereas twice-daily injections of protamine zinc insulin provided glycemic control with only minor fluctuations in BBDP rats, mice required continuous delivery of insulin to prevent wide glycemic excursions. Use of these standard protocols likely will aid in the testing of agents to prevent or reverse diabetes.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Biomedical Research Models, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA 2: National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA 3: Biomedical Research Models, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA. [email protected]

Publication date: 01 October 2012

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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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