Mouse models of diabetic neuropathy

ILAR J. 2014;54(3):259-72. doi: 10.1093/ilar/ilt052.


Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is the most common complication of diabetes and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. DPN is characterized by progressive, distal-to-proximal degeneration of peripheral nerves that leads to pain, weakness, and eventual loss of sensation. The mechanisms underlying DPN pathogenesis are uncertain, and other than tight glycemic control in type 1 patients, there is no effective treatment. Mouse models of type 1 (T1DM) and type 2 diabetes (T2DM) are critical to improving our understanding of DPN pathophysiology and developing novel treatment strategies. In this review, we discuss the most widely used T1DM and T2DM mouse models for DPN research, with emphasis on the main neurologic phenotype of each model. We also discuss important considerations for selecting appropriate models for T1DM and T2DM DPN studies and describe the promise of novel emerging diabetic mouse models for DPN research. The development, characterization, and comprehensive neurologic phenotyping of clinically relevant mouse models for T1DM and T2DM will provide valuable resources for future studies examining DPN pathogenesis and novel therapeutic strategies.

Keywords: diabetic peripheral neuropathy; diet-induced obesity; leptin; mouse models; nerve conduction velocity; nerve fiber density; type 1 diabetes; type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / physiopathology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology*
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / etiology
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / physiopathology*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Dyslipidemias / genetics
  • Dyslipidemias / physiopathology*
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology
  • Mice