Original WBN/Kob male rats commonly develop chronic pancreatitis by the age of 3 months, while diabetes mellitus occurs at 9 months. In contrast, female rats of this strain do not show pancreatitis or diabetes. The WBN/Kob-fatty rat is a homozygous (fa/fa) congenic strain for the fa allele of the leptin receptor gene (Lepr). In WBN/Kob-fatty rats, both females and males provide a model of non-insulin-dependent diabetes with obesity. The leptin receptor fatty gene (Leprfa) induces obesity and hyperphagia. In the present study, we examined the effect of dietary restriction on pancreatitis and diabetes in female WBN/Kob-fatty rats. Five female fatty rats comprised a restricted feeding group with paired-feeding from 3 to 13 weeks of age, and five female lean rats comprised a control group with paired-feeding. At 13 weeks of age, two of the five female fatty rats of the control group developed diabetes mellitus, while no female fatty rats of the restricted feeding group developed diabetes mellitus. At this stage, pathological changes of the pancreas were observed in female fatty rats. All female fatty rats showed severe interlobular, intra-lobular and intra-islet fibrosis. In female fatty rats of the restricted feeding group, pathological changes of the pancreas were milder those of the free-feeding fatty group. Although dietary restriction could not completely prevent pancreatitis in female fatty rats, the development of diabetes was inhibited by its reduction of the severity of pancreatitis.
2010 Japanese Association for Laboratory Animal Science