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R P Danis, Y Yang; Microvascular retinopathy in the Zucker diabetic fatty rat.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1993;34(7):2367-2371.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
PURPOSE: To determine if quantifiable morphometric signs of retinopathy occur in the Zucker diabetic fatty rat (ZDF/Gmi-fa, formerly designated ZDF/Drt), a partially inbred strain in which the genetic propensity for diabetes is only expressed in obese males. METHODS: Retired diabetic (ZDF/Gmi-fa) and control lean Zucker (fa/+) breeder rats were examined for quantifiable evidence of microvascular changes of the retinal capillaries by gross examination, trypsin digestion of retinal vessels, and transmission electron microscopy. RESULTS: Gross examination of retinas and trypsin digestion of capillaries revealed no differences. Quantitative assessment of capillary cell nuclear density showed that diabetic retinas were hypercellular compared to lean rats (3.888 +/- 0.041 versus 3.304 +/- 0.046 nuclei per 100 microns (mean +/- SE), P = 0.0042). Transmission electron microscopic analysis of retinal capillary basement membrane thickness demonstrated thicker measurements in diabetic animals (mean thickness 21% greater in diabetic rats, P = 0.0307). CONCLUSIONS: This model may be useful for pharmacologic intervention studies because it is naturally and severely non-insulin-dependent diabetic, there are quantifiable retinal vascular changes, and same-sex litter mates can be used as controls.
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