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Renner, Simone; Dobenecker, Britta; Blutke, Andreas; Zöls, Susanne; Wanke, Rüdiger; Ritzmann, Mathias; Wolf, Eckhard (2016): Comparative aspects of rodent and nonrodent animal models for mechanistic and translational diabetes research. In: Theriogenology, Vol. 86, No. 1: pp. 406-421
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Abstract

The prevalence of diabetes mellitus, which currently affects 387 million people worldwide, is permanently rising in both adults and adolescents. Despite numerous treatment options, diabetes mellitus is a progressive disease with severe comorbidities, such as nephropathy, neuropathy, and retinopathy, as well as cardiovascular disease. Therefore, animal models predictive of the efficacy and safety of novel compounds in humans are of great value to address the unmet need for improved therapeutics. Although rodent models provide important mechanistic insights, their predictive value for therapeutic outcomes in humans is limited. In recent years, the pig has gained importance for biomedical research because of its close similarity to human anatomy, physiology, size, and, in contrast to non-human primates, better ethical acceptance. In this review, anatomic, biochemical, physiological, and morphologic aspects relevant to diabetes research will be compared between different animal species, that is, mouse, rat, rabbit, pig, and non-human primates. The value of the pig as a model organism for diabetes research will be highlighted, and (dis)advantages of the currently available approaches for the generation of pig models exhibiting characteristics of metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes mellitus will be discussed. (C) 2016 ELSEVIER. All rights reserved.