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Journal of Ophthalmology
Volume 2010, Article ID 615641, 7 pages
Review Article

Pathophysiological Characteristics of Diabetic Ocular Complications in Spontaneously Diabetic Torii Rat

Biological/Pharmacological Research Laboratories, Central Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Japan Tobacco Inc., 1-1 Murasaki-cho, Takatsuki, Osaka 569-1125, Japan

Received 29 November 2009; Accepted 26 March 2010

Academic Editor: Mark Petrash

Copyright © 2010 Tomohiko Sasase. 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.


The Spontaneously Diabetic Torii (SDT) rat, a nonobese type 2 diabetes model, develops severe diabetic retinopathy as result of chronic severe hyperglycemia. Although existing diabetes animal models also develop ocular complications, severe retinal lesions frequently observed in human diabetes patients such as preretinal neovascularization or retinal detachment are not found. Distinctive features in SDT rat are hypermature cataract, tractional retinal detachment with fibrous proliferation, and massive hemorrhaging in the anterior chamber. These pathophysiological changes are caused by sustained hyperglycemic condition and subsequent increased expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in retina, iris, and ciliary body. Although some differences in diabetic retinopathy exist between SDT rats and humans (e.g., a low incidence of neovascular formation and poor development of nonperfused area are found in this animal), SDT rat will be a useful model in studies of the pathogenesis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy.