Feline models of type 2 diabetes mellitus

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Feline diabetes mellitus (FDM) closely resembles human type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in many respects including clinical, physiological, and pathological features of the disease. These features include age of onset of FDM in middle age, association with obesity, residual but declining insulin secretion, development of islet amyloid deposits, loss of approximately 50% of β-cell mass, and development of complications in several organ systems including peripheral polyneuropathy and retinopathy. Many of the pathological aspects of the disease are also experimentally inducible, facilitating study of the pathogenesis of these lesions. Physiological aspects of FDM and obesity are also well studied in the cat and provide an excellent basis for comparative studies of human T2DM. The relatively short generation time of cats along with breed predispositions to development of FDM may allow for more rapid screening and identification of genetic markers for diabetes susceptibility. FDM, in both spontaneous and inducible forms, therefore provides a good animal model of human T2DM and may provide additional insights into the pathogenesis of this important condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-242
Number of pages9
JournalILAR Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006


  • Animal model
  • Feline
  • Islet amyloid
  • Islet amyloid polypeptide
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus


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