The Spontaneously Diabetic Torii (SDT) fatty rat, established by introducing the fa allele of the Zucker fatty rat into the SDT rat genome, is a new model of obese type 2 diabetes. The SDT-fa/fa (SDT fatty) rat shows overt obesity, and hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia are observed at a young age as compared with the SDT-+/+ (SDT normal) rat. However, the features of the diabetic complications in the SDT fatty rat have not been reported. In the present study, the incidence and the progression of diabetic complications in the SDT fatty rat were examined, and compared with those of the SDT normal rat. Renal function parameters, such as blood urea nitrogen, urine volume and urinary protein, increased from 4 weeks of age in the SDT fatty rat, and pathological findings in the renal tubule were observed from 8 weeks. Furthermore, cataract was observed in the SDT fatty rat from 8 weeks of age, and prolongation of peak latencies on electroretinograms was observed at 16 and 24 weeks of age. On the other hand, in the SDT normal rat, renal or ocular changes were observed from 24 weeks of age. With early incidence of diabetes mellitus, diabetes-associated complications in the SDT fatty rat were seen at younger ages than those in the SDT normal rat. In conclusion, the SDT fatty rat is expected to be a useful model for the analysis of diabetic complications and the evaluation of drugs related to metabolic diseases.
2008 Japanese Association for Laboratory Animal Science