Progressive Glucose Intolerance and Renal Disease in Aging BHE/cdb Rats

 Carolyn D. Berdanier*, Krystyna Kras*, Kathie Wickwire*, D. Greg Hall, Carol Gunnett and Diane Hartle

Department of Foods and Nutrition*, Pathology and Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602, U.S.A.


Male BHE/cdb rats fed a refined diet were evaluated for glucose tolerance and renal disease at 100 day intervals. Lifespan for rats of this strain is usually 50% less than that of normal rats.  Impaired glucose tolerance was observed in the young adult rats and it progressively became more impaired as the animals aged.  Renal tissue and function, while normal at 100 days of age, became progressively abnormal as the animals aged.  Levels of free radicals in renal tissue did not change until 400 days of age.  The progressive nature of glucose intolerance and renal disease may be linked to a mutation in the mitochondrial ATPase 6 gene, which in turn affects ATPase synthesis efficiency and the availability of ATP for islet and renal use.

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