Glucose refractoriness of pancreatic beta-cells in rat models of non-insulin dependent diabetes

Diabete Metab. Mar-Apr 1994;20(2):108-15.


A decreased insulin response, preferentially to glucose, has been considered a hallmark of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (Type 2) in humans. Syndromes resembling human diabetes occur spontaneously in many animal species and can also be induced by treating animals with drugs or viruses, excising their pancreases or manipulating their diet. Among these models, rat diabetes induced by neonatal streptozotocin administration (n-STZ models) has been first recognized as an adequate tool to study the long-term consequences of a gradually reduced beta-cell mass. More recently, the GK (Goto Kakisaki) Wistar rat has become available and is now considered as a promising spontaneous rat model of non-insulin dependent diabetes. We and others have found that defects in insulin secretion and action develop in the n-STZ and the GK models, which in many ways resemble those described in human non-insulin dependent diabetes. This review is aimed to sum up with a comparative approach, the informations so far collected in the n-STZ and GK models concerning the cellular mechanisms leading to the desensitization of their beta-cells to glucose. Taken together, the data reinforce the view that the impairment of glucose-induced insulin release in n-STZ and GK rats is clearly related to a defect in oxidative glycolysis. This leads to a severe decrease in the mitochondrial oxidative catabolism of glucose-derived pyruvate. Its coincides with a lower ATP/ADP ratio in glucose-stimulated islets and a subsequent alteration of ionic events tightly coupled to the fuel function of the hexose in islet cells, i.e. the decrease in K+ conductance.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / physiopathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Exocytosis / physiology
  • Glucose / pharmacology*
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Islets of Langerhans / drug effects*
  • Islets of Langerhans / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Insulin
  • Glucose