Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rats have been established as an animal model in which non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus develops spontaneously. We examined the renal histopathology and the urinary findings serially in OLETF rats and compared these findings with findings in age-matched Long-Evans Tokushima Otsuka (LETO) rats as a control strain. OLETF rats showed higher blood glucose levels than did LETO rats from 18 weeks of age, and hemoglobin Alc levels became higher in OLETF rats than in LETO rats from 22 weeks of age. Accompanying the development of hyperglycemia was an increase in the amount of albuminuria in OLETF rats from 18 weeks of age. The initial histopathologic change found in OLETF rots was an increase in glomerular area, and mesangial expansion started to develop from 22 weeks of age. Mesangial lesions progressed to mesangial sclerosis, and exudative lesions were found in OLETF rats from 36 weeks of age. The anionic charge of glomerular basement membrane (GBM), measured by polyethyleneimine grain density, demonstrated that the lower grain density in OLETF rats when compared with that in LETO rats became more evident with an increase in the amount of albuminuria. Therefore, the defect in the charge-selective property found in OLETF rats might be one of the causes of albuminuria. The GBM became thickened in elderly OLETF rats as compared with that in age-matched LETO rats. Disturbances in the selectivity of urinary protein, as determined by the clearance ratio of immunoglobulin G to transferrin, were found to accompany the thickening of GBM in OLETF rats. We consider that both the loss of the charge-selective property and massive albuminuria might be the causes of GBM thickening, through a clogging mechanism, and that GBM thickening might in turn produce the loss of size selectivity. Given these findings, we consider the OLETF strain of rats to be an interesting animal model for studying the relationship between diabetes and renal involvement, because the glomerular abnormalities and massive albuminuria found in OLETF rats were results of a long-term diabetic state.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine