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Wound Repair Regen. 2010 Sep-Oct;18(5):532-42. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-475X.2010.00613.x.

Limb regeneration is impaired in an adult zebrafish model of diabetes mellitus.

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Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Dr William M Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine, Rosalind Franklin University, North Chicago, Illinois, USA.


The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is an established model organism for the study of developmental processes, human disease, and tissue regeneration. We report that limb regeneration is severely impaired in our newly developed adult zebrafish model of type I diabetes mellitus. Intraperitoneal streptozocin injection of adult, wild-type zebrafish results in a sustained hyperglycemic state as determined by elevated fasting blood glucose values and increased glycation of serum protein. Serum insulin levels are also decreased and pancreas immunohistochemisty revealed a decreased amount of insulin signal in hyperglycemic fish. Additionally, the diabetic complications of retinal thinning and glomerular basement membrane thickening (early signs of retinopathy and nephropathy) resulting from the hyperglycemic state were evident in streptozocin-injected fish at 3 weeks. Most significantly, limb regeneration, following caudal fin amputation, is severely impaired in diabetic zebrafish and nonspecific toxic effects outside the pancreas were not found to contribute to impaired limb regeneration. This experimental system using adult zebrafish facilitates a broad spectrum of genetic and molecular approaches to study regeneration in the diabetic background.

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