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Variability in Zucker diabetic fatty rats: differences in disease progression in hyperglycemic and normoglycemic animals

Authors Wang X, DuBois DC, Sukumaran S, Ayyar V, Jusko WJ, Almon R

Received 24 June 2014

Accepted for publication 23 July 2014

Published 11 November 2014 Volume 2014:7 Pages 531—541

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DMSO.S69891

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Professor Ming-Hui Zou


Xi Wang,1 Debra C DuBois,1,2 Siddharth Sukumaran,2 Vivaswath Ayyar,1 William J Jusko,2,3 Richard R Almon1–3

1Department of Biological Sciences, 2Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, USA; 3New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, Buffalo, NY, USA

Abstract: Both obesity and chronic inflammation are often associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. The Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rat (fa/fa) is an obese animal model frequently used in type 2 diabetes research. The current study determines whether chronic administration (from 5 weeks of age through 24 weeks of age) of salsalate, a salicylate with anti-inflammatory properties, would be effective in mitigating diabetes disease progression in ZDF rats. Although a trend existed for lower blood glucose in the salsalate-treated group, significant differences were obscured by high animal-level variability. However, even in the non-drug-treated group, not all ZDF rats became diabetic as expected. Therefore, animals were parsed into two groups, regardless of drug treatment: normoglycemic ZDF rats, which maintained blood glucose profiles identical to nondiabetic Zucker lean rats (ZLRs), and hyperglycemic ZDF rats, which exhibited progressive elevation in blood glucose. To ascertain the differences between ZDF rats that became hyperglycemic and those that did not, relevant physiological indices and expression levels of adiponectin, tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-6, and glucocorticoid-induced leucine zipper messenger RNAs in adipose tissue were measured at sacrifice. Plasma C-reactive protein concentrations and expression levels of cytokine and glucocorticoid-induced leucine zipper messenger RNAs suggested more prevalent chronic inflammation in hyperglycemic animals. Early elevation of the insulin-sensitizing adipokine, adiponectin, was present in both ZDF groups, with the rate of its age-related decline faster in hyperglycemic animals. The most marked difference between the two groups of ZDF animals was in insulin output. Although the two ZDF populations had very similar elevated plasma insulin concentrations for the first 10 weeks, after that time, plasma insulin decreased markedly in the animals that became hyperglycemic, whereas it remained high in the normoglycemic ZDF rats. Thus, hyperglycemic ZDF animals exhibit both insulin resistance and progressive beta cell failure, whereas normoglycemic ZDF rats exhibit a lesser degree of insulin resistance that does not progress to beta cell failure. In these respects, the normoglycemic ZDF rats appear to revert back to a phenotype that strongly resembles that of nondiabetic Zucker fatty rats from which they were derived.

Keywords: type 2 diabetes, ZDF rats, animal models

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