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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Impaired insulin biosynthetic capacity in a rat model for non-insulin-dependent diabetes. Studies with dexamethasone.

These studies of a rat model for non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) were performed to determine whether hyperglycemia occurs when capacity to synthesize insulin is exceeded. The neonatal streptozocin (STZ)-treated rat has acute hyperglycemia with marked destruction of pancreatic beta-cells, followed by gradual regeneration to 50-70% normal beta-cell number. At age 4 wk, fed serum glucose concentration is only mildly elevated relative to controls. With age, the rats become progressively hyperglycemic, and by 12 wk they have marked impairment of glucose-stimulated insulin release. In these studies, dexamethasone (0.125 mg/kg/day for 4 days) was administered to control and to STZ-treated animals to produce insulin resistance. The relationship between insulin biosynthesis and serum glucose concentrations was assessed. In control rats, response to dexamethasone was similar at both 4 and 12 wk. Serum glucose levels and pancreatic insulin concentration remained unchanged. Both insulin biosynthetic rates (as measured by 3H-leucine incorporation into proinsulin) and proinsulin mRNA levels increased twofold. STZ-treated rats at age 4 wk demonstrated mild hyperglycemia. Dexamethasone injection resulted in an increase in insulin biosynthesis and proinsulin mRNA in these animals, while serum glucose did not increase. STZ-treated rats at 12 wk showed more profound hyperglycemia (serum glucose 315 +/- 38 mg/dl versus control, 187 +/- 12 mg/dl). A marked rise in serum glucose (to 519 +/- 42 mg/dl) was observed after 4 days of dexamethasone injection. Pancreatic insulin content became severely depleted relative to saline-injected, STZ-treated animals, and there was no response of levels of proinsulin mRNA.[1]


  1. Impaired insulin biosynthetic capacity in a rat model for non-insulin-dependent diabetes. Studies with dexamethasone. Giddings, S.J., Orland, M.J., Weir, G.C., Bonner-Weir, S., Permutt, M.A. Diabetes (1985) [Pubmed]
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