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Am J Pathol. 2005 Aug;167(2):327-36.

Establishment of a diabetic mouse model with progressive diabetic nephropathy.

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Department of Diabetes and Clinical Nutrition, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan.


Although diabetic animal models exist, no single animal model develops renal changes identical to those seen in humans. Here we show that transgenic mice that overexpress inducible cAMP early repressor (ICER Igamma) in pancreatic beta cells are a good model to study the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy. Although ICER Igamma transgenic mice exhibit extremely high blood glucose levels throughout their lives, they survive long enough to develop diabetic nephropathy. Using this model we followed the progress of diabetic renal changes compared to those seen in humans. By 8 weeks of age, the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was already increased, and glomerular hypertrophy was prominent. At 20 weeks, GFR reached its peak, and urine albumin excretion rate was elevated. Finally, at 40 weeks, diffuse glomerular sclerotic lesions were prominently accompanied by increased expression of collagen type IV and laminin and reduced expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2. Nodular lesions were absent, but glomerular basement membrane thickening was prominent. At this point, GFR declined and urinary albumin excretion rate increased, causing a nephrotic state with lower serum albumin and higher serum total cholesterol. Thus, similar to human diabetic nephropathy, ICER Igamma transgenic mice exhibit a stable and progressive phenotype of diabetic kidney disease due solely to chronic hyperglycemia without other modulating factors.

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