Age Susceptibility of Wistar Rats to Alloxan-Induced Diabetes: A Paradox
Selection of appropriate ages of rats for experimental diabetes mellitus studies has been posing great challenges to researchers as the rats may either not come down with diabetes or may even die upon induction. This study investigated the influence of age as a possible factor affecting successful induction of diabetes mellitus in albino Wistar rats. One hundred male albino Wistar rats of varying ages weighing between 23.63 ± 0.46 g and 279.00 ± 27.00 g and assigned into ten (10) groups of ten rats per group were used for the study. Diabetes was induced in groups 1-9 consisting of rats aged 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17 and 19 weeks respectively by injecting 160 mg/kg of alloxan monohydrate intraperitoneally while group 10 rats (aged 12 weeks) served as normal control. Fasting blood glucose levels and the weights of the rats were determined on 0 h, 24 h, 48 h, 72 h and 96 h post alloxan monohydrate injection. Body conditions and behaviors of the rats were subjectively scored. Results showed that rats in groups 3-9 came down with hyperglycemia 48 h post-alloxan injection. The body conditions and behaviors of groups 3 (aged 7 weeks) and 4 (Aged 9 weeks) rats compared very well (p<0.05) with those of the normal control rats. It was concluded that rats aged 7-9 weeks were most suitable for use in studies involving induction of experimental diabetes mellitus using alloxan monohydrate at the dose of 160 mg/kg intraperitoneally.
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