Diabetes Mellitus in the Sand Rat Induced by Standard Laboratory Diets

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Science  14 Feb 1964:
Vol. 143, Issue 3607, pp. 689-690
DOI: 10.1126/science.143.3607.689


During an attempt to establish a laboratory colony of the sand rat (Psammomys obesus) we found that this animal invariably became obese and developed severe diabetes mellitus when fed on commercial laboratory rat feed, but remained normal when fed on fresh vegetables only. The signs of diabetes included elevated blood glucose, excessive glucose and ketone bodies in the urine, and cataracts. The diabetic animals showed degeneration of the pancreatic insulin producing tissue (beta-cells).