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Aguirre, J; Hiriart, M; Larque, C; Velasco, M; Navarro-Tableros, V; Duhne, M; Gutierrez-Reyes, G; Moreno, J; Robles-Diaz, G; HONG, E (2011)


IUBMB LIFE 63(10):831-839
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The twenty-first century arrived in the middle of a global epidemic of metabolic syndrome (MS) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2). It is generally accepted that an excess of nutrients linked to a low physical activity triggers the problem. However, the molecular features that interact to develop the MS are not clear. In an effort to understand and control them, they have been extensively studied, but this goal has not been achieved yet. Nonhuman animal models have been used to explore diet and genetic factors in which experimental conditions are controlled. For example, only one factor in the diet, such as fats or carbohydrates can be modified to better understand a single change that would be impossible in humans. Most of the studies have been done in rodents. However, it is difficult to directly compare them, because experiments are different in more than one variable; genetic strains, amount, and the type of fat used in the diet and sex. Thus, the only possible criteria of comparison are the relevance of the observed changes. We review different animal models and add some original observations on short-term changes in metabolism and beta cells in our own model of adult Wistar rats that are not especially prone to get fat or develop DM2, treated with 20% sucrose in drinking water. One early change observed in pancreatic beta cells is the increase in GLUT2 expression that is located to the membrane of the cells. This change could partially explain the presence of insulin hypersecretion and hyperinsulinemia in these rats. Understanding early changes that lead to MS and in time to pancreatic islet exhaustion is an important biomedical problem that may contribute to learn how to prevent or even reverse MS, before developing DM2. (C) 2011 IUBMB IUBMB Life, 63(10): 831-839, 2011