The TSOD mouse has been established as an inbred strain with spontaneous development of diabetes mellitus as the first clinical signs of diabetes. Polydipsia and polyuria are observed at about 2 months old only in male mice, after which hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia are detected. Following these symptoms obesity gradually develops until about 12 months old. In histopathological examination of the pancreas, severe hypertrophy of pancreatic islets was observed due to proliferation and swelling of B cells. In the kidney, thickening of the basement membrane in glomeruli and an increase of the mesangial area were observed at 18 months old. Motor neuropathy in TSOD mice began to appear at 14 months old and most male mice at 17 months old showed weakness of front and hind paws caused by neuron degeneration in the peripheral nerve. In sensory neuropathy, the threshold in the tail pressure test decreased significantly at 12 months old. Light microscopic and electron microscopic examination of sciatic nerves showed a decrease in the density of nerve fibers by the endoneural fibrosis and loss of these fibers. Degenerative changes of myelinated fibers, separation of myelin sheaths with intralamellar edema and remyelination were frequently observed. In the severely affected nerve fibers, the lamellar structure was completely destroyed and macrophages migrated around the myelin sheath or invaded the intramyelin space. Considering these findings similar to non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) in humans, the TSOD mouse should be a useful model for the pathogenic study of diabetic complications, especially of peripheral neuropathy.
2005 Japanese Association for Laboratory Animal Science