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Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2017, Article ID 4275851, 9 pages
Review Article

Relationship between Immunological Abnormalities in Rat Models of Diabetes Mellitus and the Amplification Circuits for Diabetes

1Department of Environmental and Preventive Medicine, Hyogo College of Medicine, Nishinomiya, Japan
2Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Yamagata University, Yamagata, Japan

Correspondence should be addressed to Yuji Takeda;

Received 20 July 2016; Revised 13 December 2016; Accepted 26 January 2017; Published 19 February 2017

Academic Editor: Akira Mima

Copyright © 2017 Yuji Takeda 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.


A better understanding of pathogenic mechanisms is required in order to treat diseases. However, the mechanisms of diabetes mellitus and diabetic complications are extremely complex. Immune reactions are involved in the pathogenesis of diabetes and its complications, while diabetes influences immune reactions. Furthermore, both diabetes and immune reactions are influenced by genetic and environmental factors. To address these issues, animal models are useful tools. So far, various animal models of diabetes have been developed in rats, which have advantages over mice models in terms of the larger volume of tissue samples and the variety of type 2 diabetes models. In this review, we introduce rat models of diabetes and summarize the immune reactions in diabetic rat models. Finally, we speculate on the relationship between immune reactions and diabetic episodes. For example, diabetes-prone Biobreeding rats, type 1 diabetes model rats, exhibit increased autoreactive cellular and inflammatory immune reactions, while Goto-Kakizaki rats, type 2 diabetes model rats, exhibit increased Th2 reactions and attenuation of phagocytic activity. Investigation of immunological abnormalities in various diabetic rat models is useful for elucidating complicated mechanisms in the pathophysiology of diabetes. Studying immunological alterations, such as predominance of Th1/17 or Th2 cells, humoral immunity, and innate immune reactions, may improve understanding the structure of amplification circuits for diabetes in future studies.