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Sci Rep. 2017 May 3;7(1):1461. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-01432-w.

Development of a Novel Zebrafish Model for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.

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Graduate School of Regional Innovation Studies, Mie University, Tsu, Mie, Japan.
Department of Integrative Pharmacology, Mie University Graduate School of Medicine, Tsu, Mie, Japan.
Department of Bioinformatics, Mie University Life Science Research Center, Tsu, Mie, Japan.
Graduate School of Regional Innovation Studies, Mie University, Tsu, Mie, Japan.


Obesity is a major cause of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in mammals. We have previously established a zebrafish model of diet-induced obesity (DIO zebrafish) by overfeeding Artemia. Here we created DIO zebrafish using a different method to induce T2DM. Zebrafish were overfed a commercially available fish food using an automated feeding system. We monitored the fasting blood glucose levels in the normal-fed group (one feed/day) and overfed group (six feeds/day) over an 8-week period. The fasting blood glucose level was significantly increased in DIO zebrafish compared with that of normal-fed zebrafish. Intraperitoneal and oral glucose tolerance tests showed impaired glucose tolerance by overfeeding. Insulin production, which was determined indirectly by measuring the EGFP signal strength in overfed Tg(-1.0ins:EGFP) sc1 zebrafish, was increased in DIO zebrafish. The anti-diabetic drugs metformin and glimepiride ameliorated hyperglycaemia in the overfed group, suggesting that this zebrafish can be used as a model of human T2DM. Finally, we conducted RNA deep sequencing and found that the gene expression profiling of liver-pancreas revealed pathways common to human T2DM. In summary, we developed a zebrafish model of T2DM that shows promise as a platform for mechanistic and therapeutic studies of diet-induced glucose intolerance and insulin resistance.

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