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Archive for December, 2010

Animal “Models” of Autoimmune Diabetes, Part 2

December 20th, 2010

Today I want to tell you more about animal models for autoimmune diabetes, thanks to this question from a reader: Question: why [are] pigs are not affected by diabetes?

As I wrote previously, the oldest animal model of diabetes is the surgical removal of the dog pancreas. Is there some reason we can’t take the pancreas out of all mammals to make other good models?

The first problem is that each mammal has its own characteristic pancreatic anatomy, which can vary hugely between individuals. All pancreases are firmly attached to the intestine at the common bile duct just below the stomach. Through this duct the pancreas delivers digestive enzymes. The remainder of the pancreas supplies these pancreatic enzymes through the pancreatic duct tree, so can be any shape.

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