Background/aims: Mouse models are an essential experimental tool for investigating the role of molecular mechanisms and genetic susceptibility in the development of diabetic nephropathy.
Methods: The most widely used inbred strain, the C57BL/6 mouse, is commonly used in streptozotocin-induced models of type 1 diabetes and is particularly susceptible to obesity-induced type 2 diabetes. However, use of this strain has been criticised by studies suggesting that it is relatively resistant to renal injury.
Results: Recent refinement of these models and utilisation of genetically modified (knockout and transgenic) mice on a C57BL/6 background has provided important insights into the roles of oxidative stress, advanced glycation end products, inflammation and profibrotic mechanisms in the development of type 1 and type 2 diabetic nephropathy.
Conclusion: These findings demonstrate the utility of mouse models for identifying and testing novel therapeutic strategies which could translate into better protection against the human disease.
Copyright 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel.