June 1993
Volume 34, Issue 7
Free
Articles  |   June 1993
Microvascular retinopathy in the Zucker diabetic fatty rat.
Author Affiliations
  • R P Danis
    Department of Ophthalmology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis 46202.
  • Y Yang
    Department of Ophthalmology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis 46202.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 1993, Vol.34, 2367-2371. doi:
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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)

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Abstract

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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