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Life Sci. 1987 Sep 14;41(11):1345-53.

Selected physical and biochemical parameters in the streptozotocin-treated guinea pig: insights into the diabetic guinea pig model.


Since evidence suggests that ascorbic acid deficits may provoke certain diabetic complications, it becomes necessary to develop a diabetic animal model which, like man, is unable to synthesize this vitamin. To this end, the present study monitored the diabetogenic effects of streptozotocin (STZ, 150 mg/kg) in the male guinea pig, a species rarely used in diabetes research. Over a 3-week period, body weight and relative food intake were lower in the STZ group compared to controls. The mean daily water intake and urine volume of the STZ group after 1 week were 175 and 270% of their initial pretreatment values, respectively, while control values were unchanged. The STZ group also exhibited a persistent glycosuria throughout the study. At the end of 3 weeks, aldehyde fuchsin staining of pancreatic beta cell granules (an index of stored insulin) was 58% lower in the STZ group compared to controls. Plasma C-peptide (indicator of insulin secretion) was expressed in human equivalents (mean +/- SEM). C-peptide was reduced in the STZ group (103 +/- 65 pg/ml) compared to controls (549 +/- 96 pg/ml); however, no change in plasma glucose was observed. Plasma ascorbic acid levels also were lower for STZ animals (150 +/- 26 micrograms%) versus controls (410 +/- 28 micrograms%). This study 1) demonstrates a diabetic syndrome in the STZ-treated guinea pig based on a reduced growth rate, beta cell dysfunction, polydipsia, polyuria and glycosuria, and 2) suggests the usefulness of this diabetic model in studies of pathologic mechanisms influenced by ascorbic acid.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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