Diabetologia

, Volume 44, Issue 9, pp 1189-1196

First online:

The LEW.1AR1/Ztm-iddm rat: a new model of spontaneous insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus

  • S. LenzenAffiliated withInstitute of Clinical Biochemistry, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany
  • , M. TiedgeAffiliated withInstitute of Clinical Biochemistry, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany
  • , M. ElsnerAffiliated withInstitute of Clinical Biochemistry, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany
  • , S. LortzAffiliated withInstitute of Clinical Biochemistry, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany
  • , H. WeissAffiliated withInstitute of Clinical Biochemistry, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany
  • , A. JörnsAffiliated withCentre of Anatomy, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany
  • , G. KlöppelAffiliated withInstitute of Pathology, University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany
  • , D. WedekindAffiliated withInstitute for Laboratory Animal Science, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany
  • , C. -M. ProkopAffiliated withInstitute for Laboratory Animal Science, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany
    • , H. J. HedrichAffiliated withInstitute for Laboratory Animal Science, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany

Abstract.

Aims/hypothesis:

We describe a new Type I (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus rat model (LEW.1AR1/Ztm-iddm) which arose through a spontaneous mutation in a congenic Lewis rat strain with a defined MHC haplotype (RT1.A a B/D u C u ).

Methods:

The development of diabetes was characterised using biochemical, immunological and morphological methods.

Results:

Diabetes appeared in the rats with an incidence of 20 % without major sex preference at 58 ± 2 days. The disease was characterised by hyperglycaemia, glycosuria, ketonuria and polyuria. In peripheral blood, the proportion of T lymphocytes was in the normal range expressing the RT6.1 differentiation antigen. Islets were heavily infiltrated with B and T lymphocytes, macrophages and NK cells with beta cells rapidly destroyed through apoptosis in areas of insulitis.

Conclusion/interpretation:

This Type I diabetic rat develops a spontaneous insulin-dependent autoimmune diabetes through beta cell apoptosis. It could prove to be a valuable new animal model for clarifying the mechanisms involved in the development of autoimmune diabetes. [Diabetologia (2001) 44: 1189–1196]

Keywords Type I diabetes mellitus, animal model, rat, apoptosis.