Streptozotocin as a tool for induction of rat models of diabetes
a practical guide
Keywords:animal model, rat, streptozotocin, diabetes
Streptozotocin (STZ) is the most used diabetogenic chemical for creating rat models of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Despite ~60 years of using STZ in animal diabetes research, some prevailing views about STZ preparation and use are not supported by evidence. Here, we provide practical guides for using STZ to induce diabetes in rats. Susceptibility to the diabetogenic effect of STZ is inversely related to age, and males are more susceptible to STZ than females. Wistar and Sprague-Dawley rats, the most commonly-used rat strains, are sensitive to STZ, but some strains (e.g., Wistar-Kyoto rats) are less sensitive. STZ is mostly injected intravenously or intraperitoneally, but its intravenous injection produces more stable hyperglycemia. Despite the prevailing view, no fasting is necessary before STZ injection, and injection of its anomer-equilibrated solutions (i.e., more than 2 hours of dissolving) is recommended. Mortality following the injection of diabetogenic doses of STZ is due to severe hypoglycemia (during the first 24 h) or severe hyperglycemia (24 h after the injection and onwards). Some measures to prevent hypoglycemia-related mortality in rats include providing access to food soon after the injection, administration of glucose/sucrose solutions during the first 24-48 h after the injection, administration of STZ to fed animals, and using anomer-equilibrated solutions of STZ. Hyperglycemia-related mortality following injection of high doses of STZ can be overcome with insulin administration. In conclusion, STZ is a valuable chemical for inducing diabetes in rats, but some practical guides should be considered to perform well-conducted and ethical studies.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Asghar Ghasemi, Sajad Jeddi
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