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Spontaneous Diabetes (SD)

A spontaneous non-insulin-dependent diabetes in a highly inbred line of rats called eSS has been described. It is characterized by early impaired glucose tolerance worsening with age. Males are far more severely affected than females. These animals also exhibit hypertriglyceridemia and hypercholesterolemia. In spite of their hyperglycemia, eSS males have an excess of circulating plasma insulin compared with alpha controls. Eight-month-old eSS males were sensitive to exogenous insulin. Moreover, as the plasma insulin values decrease with age, glucose tolerance is further impaired. An improvement in the metabolic disturbances was registered in diabetic eSS males under long-term food deprivation. Histopathological examination of the pancreas revealed marked changes compared with age-matched controls.