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The use of mice in diabetes research: The impact of physiological characteristics, choice of model and husbandry practices

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Lydia F. Daniels Gatward, Matilda R. Kennard, Lorna I.F. Smith, Aileen J.F. King

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14711
JournalDiabetic Medicine
Issue number12
Early online date6 Oct 2021
Accepted/In press2021
E-pub ahead of print6 Oct 2021
PublishedDec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: This work was funded by the Medical Research Council through the MRC Doctoral Training Programme awarded to LFDG; the British Pharmacological Society through an AJ Clark studentship awarded to MRK; Diabetes UK (LIFS); and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (LIFS). We would also like to acknowledgement the BSU staff at King’s College London for their exceptional care and advice regarding the research animals. Publisher Copyright: © 2021 The Authors. Diabetic Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Diabetes UK.

King's Authors


Diabetes mellitus is characterised by hyperglycaemia, which results from an absolute or relative lack of insulin. Chronic and acute hyperglycaemia are associated with a range of health complications and an overall increased risk of mortality. Mouse models are vital in understanding the pathogenesis of this disease and its complications, as well as for developing new diabetes therapeutics. However, for experimental questions to be suitably tested, it is critical that factors inherent to the animal model are considered, as these can have profound impacts on experimental outcome, data reproducibility and robustness. In this review, we discuss key considerations relating to model choice, physiological characteristics (such as age, sex and genetic background) and husbandry practices and explore the impact of these on common experimental readouts used in preclinical diabetes research.

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