2018 Volume 31 Issue 2 Pages 113-123
Sarcopenia is the age-related decrease of muscle mass and function. Diabetes and obesity are known to be risk factors that exacerbate sarcopenia, but the underlying mechanism of diabetes-related sarcopenia is still unknown. Obese type 2 diabetes SDT fatty rats show early onset of severe diabetes and there have been no reports on the characteristics of their skeletal muscle. Therefore, pathophysiological analyses were performed for the skeletal muscle in these rats. Diabetic male SDT fatty rats were sacrificed at 8, 16, 24, 32 and 40 weeks of age. Age-matched Sprague Dawley (SD) rats were used as the normal control. In addition to biological blood parameters, the soleus and the extensor digitorum longus muscles were examined for muscle weight, histopathology, and protein synthesis and degradation. Muscle grip strength was also examined. These results revealed that the muscle weights of the SDT fatty rats were significantly decreased from 16 weeks of age. The mean cross-sectional area of muscle fibers in the SDT fatty rats decreased from 24 weeks of age. Increased intramyocellular lipid accumulation, identified by immunohistochemistry for adipophilin and TEM, was observed in the SDT fatty rats from 8 weeks of age. Plasma insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 levels and muscle strength in the SDT fatty rats decreased at 24 weeks of age and thereafter. These pathophysiological findings have been reported both in sarcopenia in aged humans and in patients with diabetes. In conclusion, the SDT fatty rat was considered to be a useful model for analysis of diabetes-related sarcopenia.