Profiling of Zucker diabetic fatty rats in their progression to the overt diabetic state

Metabolism. 2000 May;49(5):684-8. doi: 10.1016/s0026-0495(00)80049-9.


Blood chemistry profiles (glucose, insulin, and triglycerides) and indirect calorimetry were performed on male Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats in a longitudinal fashion (starting at 7 weeks of age) to assess the nature and timing of specific events in the transition to overt diabetes. Peripheral (skeletal muscle) insulin resistance was clearly present at 7 weeks of age in ZDF rats, yet circulating glucose was only slightly above normal as a result of compensatory hyperinsulinemia. At a crucial stage from 7 to 8 weeks, a reduction in insulin levels instigated several deleterious changes resulting in reduced whole-body carbohydrate utilization and increased glycemia. In subsequent weeks, an inability to sustain peripheral glucose disposal as a consequence of a continuous decline in insulin levels further reduced carbohydrate utilization (increased lipid utilization) and enhanced the overt hyperglycemia. These observations document in a systematic fashion the alterations that define diabetic progression in ZDF rats.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism*
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Insulin / blood
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Zucker
  • Regression Analysis
  • Respiration
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Triglycerides
  • Glucose