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Rodent models of diabetic nephropathy: their utility and limitations

Authors Kitada M, Ogura Y, Koya D

Received 13 August 2016

Accepted for publication 4 October 2016

Published 14 November 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 279—290

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJNRD.S103784

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Lucy Goodman

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Professor Pravin Singhal


Munehiro Kitada,1,2 Yoshio Ogura,2 Daisuke Koya1,2

1Division of Anticipatory Molecular Food Science and Technology, Medical Research Institute, 2Department of Diabetology and Endocrinology, Kanazawa Medical University, Uchinada, Ishikawa, Japan

Abstract: Diabetic nephropathy is the most common cause of end-stage renal disease. Therefore, novel therapies for the suppression of diabetic nephropathy must be developed. Rodent models are useful for elucidating the pathogenesis of diseases and testing novel therapies, and many type 1 and type 2 diabetic rodent models have been established for the study of diabetes and diabetic complications. Streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic animals are widely used as a model of type 1 diabetes. Akita diabetic mice that have an Ins2+/C96Y mutation and OVE26 mice that overexpress calmodulin in pancreatic β-cells serve as a genetic model of type 1 diabetes. In addition, db/db mice, KK-Ay mice, Zucker diabetic fatty rats, Wistar fatty rats, Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty rats and Goto-Kakizaki rats serve as rodent models of type 2 diabetes. An animal model of diabetic nephropathy should exhibit progressive albuminuria and a decrease in renal function, as well as the characteristic histological changes in the glomeruli and the tubulointerstitial lesions that are observed in cases of human diabetic nephropathy. A rodent model that strongly exhibits all these features of human diabetic nephropathy has not yet been developed. However, the currently available rodent models of diabetes can be useful in the study of diabetic nephropathy by increasing our understanding of the features of each diabetic rodent model. Furthermore, the genetic background and strain of each mouse model result in differences in susceptibility to diabetic nephropathy with albuminuria and the development of glomerular and tubulointerstitial lesions. Therefore, the validation of an animal model reproducing human diabetic nephropathy will significantly facilitate our understanding of the underlying genetic mechanisms that contribute to the development of diabetic nephropathy. In this review, we focus on rodent models of diabetes and discuss the utility and limitations of these models for the study of diabetic nephropathy.

Keywords: diabetic nephropathy, rodent model, albuminuria, mesangial matrix expansion, tubulointerstitial fibrosis

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