The rising incidence of diabetes mellitus (DM) worldwide presents a global public health problem. DM is classified into two main groups: type 1 (T1DM) and type 2 (T2DM). T1DM requires insulin treatment. T2DM is complex, heterogeneous, polygenic disease defined primarily by insulin resistance, ongoing hyperglycemia, and β cells’ dysfunction. For research in diabetes, an appropriate experimental model reflecting symptoms and complications of human T2DM is required for understanding the pathogenesis, molecular nature, and the possibilities of the treatment. Among the many animal models, rodent models that develop DM spontaneously are frequently used in the studies due to their similarity to the humans and economic effectiveness. This work gives a detailed overview of the literature, covering the characteristic of DM, its symptoms and complications, the description of Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats as an appropriate model for research in T2DM, and the possibility of the treatment.
Part of the book: Animal Models in Medicine and Biology