University of Toledo’s Center for Medicine and Life Sciences has developed and patented a “better” T1 mouse, whose acquisition of the disease, and complications appear to map the human process well:
In the new model, mice spontaneously develop type 1 diabetes and, importantly, the full range of complications experienced by diabetes patients. That allows study of the disease and its natural progression in a way not previously possible. “Our model is showing exactly the same physiopathology that humans with diabetes suffer,” Imam said. “Our mice are getting eye problems, they are getting kidney problems and also neuropathy. That’s a very important part of this—they have the same human complications that all diabetes patients have, not just those with type 1.”
The laboratory mice were developed through a series of selective breeding experiments and genetic modification that included adding human genes to the mice.
Though many species develop diabetes, Jaume said the process of type 1 diabetes seems to be unique to humans.
The existing non-obese diabetic mouse modeldoes not completely resemble the human condition," Jaume said. “There are more than 125 different therapies that cure type 1 diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice. Clinical trials were developed because of that model, but none have worked in humans.”
The first peer-reviewed study using the UT-developed mouse model was published Feb. 7 in the natural sciences journal Scientific Reports .
My own thoughts: possibly valuable progress. But the very large DNA variability of diabetes’ genetic makeup makes me wonder if it is a large a step forward as they think. Still, could be a great step forward if it allows a much earlier filter of cure therapies.
As we know, a picture is worth a thousand words. I was not able to find one of the new T1 mouse, so I am providing my best approximation below: