Due to current improvements in techniques for islet isolation and transplantation and protocols for immunosuppressants, islet transplantation has become an effective treatment for severe diabetes patients. Many diabetic animal models have contributed to such improvements. In this paper, we focus on 3 types of models with different mechanisms for inducing diabetes mellitus (DM): models induced by drugs including streptozotocin (STZ), pancreatomized models, and spontaneous models due to autoimmunity. STZ-induced diabetes is one of the most commonly used experimental diabetic models and is employed using many specimens including rodents, pigs or monkeys. The management of STZ models is well established for islet studies. Pancreatomized models reveal different aspects compared to STZ-induced models in terms of loss of function in the increase and decrease of blood glucose and therefore are useful for evaluating the condition in total pancreatomized patients. Spontaneous models are useful for preclinical studies including the assessment of immunosuppressants because such models involve the same mechanisms as type 1 DM in the clinical setting. In conclusion, islet researchers should select suitable diabetic animal models according to the aim of the study.
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