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Experimental Diabetes Research
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 289614, 10 pages
Research Article

Creating a Long-Term Diabetic Rabbit Model

1Department of Surgery, University of Louisville, MDR 316, Louisville, KY 40202, USA
2Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40202, USA
3Research Resources Facilities and Cardiovascular Innovation Institute, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40202, USA

Received 26 March 2010; Revised 25 August 2010; Accepted 23 November 2010

Academic Editor: Bernard Portha

Copyright © 2010 Jianpu Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study was to create a long-term rabbit model of diabetes mellitus for medical studies of up to one year or longer and to evaluate the effects of chronic hyperglycemia on damage of major organs. A single dose of alloxan monohydrate (100 mg/kg) was given intravenously to 20 young New Zealand White rabbits. Another 12 age-matched normal rabbits were used as controls. Hyperglycemia developed within 48 hours after treatment with alloxan. Insulin was given daily after diabetes developed. All animals gained some body weight, but the gain was much less than the age-matched nondiabetic rabbits. Hyperlipidemia, higher blood urea nitrogen and creatinine were found in the diabetic animals. Histologically, the pancreas showed marked beta cell damage. The kidneys showed significantly thickened afferent glomerular arterioles with narrowed lumens along with glomerular atrophy. Lipid accumulation in the cytoplasm of hepatocytes appeared as vacuoles. Full-thickness skin wound healing was delayed. In summary, with careful management, alloxan-induced diabetic rabbits can be maintained for one year or longer in reasonably good health for diabetic studies.