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Lab Anim. 2011 Jul;45(3):131-40. doi: 10.1258/la.2010.010090. Epub 2011 Apr 8.

Single dose streptozotocin-induced diabetes: considerations for study design in islet transplantation models.

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Human Cell Therapy Laboratory, Division of Transfusion Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


Streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes mellitus (DM) offers a very cost-effective and expeditious technique that can be used in most strains of rodents, opening the field of DM research to an array of genotypic and phenotypic options that would otherwise be inaccessible. Despite widespread use of STZ in small animal models, the data available concerning drug preparation, dosing and administration, time to onset and severity of DM, and any resulting moribundity and mortality are often limited and inconsistent. Because of this, investigators inexperienced with STZ-induced diabetes may find it difficult to precisely design new studies with this potentially toxic chemical and account for the severity of DM it is capable of inducing. Until a better option becomes available, attempts need to be made to address shortcomings with current STZ-induced DM models. In this paper we review the literature and provide data from our pancreatic islet transplantation experiments using single high-dose STZ-induced DM in NCr athymic nude mice with hopes of providing clarification for study design, suggesting refinements to the process, and developing a more humane process of chemical diabetes induction.

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