Softened food reduces weight loss in the streptozotocin-induced male mouse model of diabetic nephropathy
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The streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic mouse is a widely used model of diabetes and diabetic nephropathy (DN). However, it is a well-known issue that this model is challenged by high weight loss, which despite supportive measures often results in high euthanization rates. To overcome these issues, we hypothesized that supplementing STZ-induced diabetic mice with water-softened chow in addition to normal chow would reduce weight loss, lower the need for supportive treatment, and reduce the number of mice reaching the humane endpoint of 20% weight loss. In a 15 week STZ-induced DN study we demonstrated that diabetic male mice receiving softened chow had reduced acute weight loss following STZ treatment ( p = 0.045) and additionally fewer mice were euthanized due to weight loss. By supplementing the diabetic mice with softened chow, no mice reached 20% weight loss whereas 37.5% of the mice without this supplement reached this humane endpoint ( p = 0.0027). Excretion of corticosterone metabolites in faeces was reduced in diabetic mice on softened chow ( p = 0.0007), suggesting lower levels of general stress. Finally, it was demonstrated that the water-softened chow supplement did not significantly affect the induction of key disease parameters, i.e. %HbA1C and albuminuria nor result in abnormal teeth wear. In conclusion, supplementation of softened food is refining the STZ-induced diabetic mouse model significantly by reducing stress, weight loss and the number of animals sacrificed due to humane endpoints, while maintaining the key phenotypes of diabetes and nephropathy.
|Publication status||Published - 2018|