Franconi, Flavia and Seghieri, Giuseppe and Canu, Silvia and Straface, Elisabetta and Campesi, Ilaria and Malorni, Walter (2008) Are the available experimental models of type 2 diabetes appropriate for a gender perspective? Pharmacological Research, Vol. 57 (1), p. 6-18. ISSN 1043-6618. Article.
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Several experimental models have so far been developed to improve our knowledge of the pathogenetic mechanisms of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D), to determine the possible pharmacological targets of this disease and to better evaluate diabetes-associated complications, e.g. the cardiovascular disease. In particular, the study of T2D gained the attention of several groups working with different animal species: rodents, cats or pigs, as well as other non-human primate species. Each of these species provided useful and different clues. However, T2D has to be considered as a gender-associated disease: sex differences play in fact a key role in the onset as well as in the progression of the disease and a higher mortality for cardiovascular diseases is detected in diabetic women with respect to men. The results obtained from all the available animal models appear to only partially address this issue so that the search for more precise information in this respect appears to be mandatory. In this review we summarize these concepts and literature in the field and propose a reappraisal of the various animal models for a study of T2D that would take into consideration a gender perspective.
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