Alloxan Diabetes

The World Health Organization reports diabetes mellitus as one of the most common metabolic disease which will affect a total population of 220 million worldwide in the year 2020. The increasing prevalence of diabetes mellitus worldwide is a major societal issue because diabetes is a complex and multifactorial origin disease. Experimental induction of mellitus in animal models is essential for the advancement of our knowledge and understanding of the various aspects of its pathogenesis and ultimately finding new therapies and cure. Experimental diabetes mellitus is generally induced in laboratory animals by several methods that include chemical, surgical and genetic (immunological) manipulations. Most of the experiments in diabetes are carried out in rodents, although some studies are still performed in larger animals.3

Alloxan is a pyrimidine derivative that induces diabetes in animals. Along with streptozotocin, it is one of the most widely used chemicals in diabetes research in experimental animals. In rabbits, rats, and other experimental animals, injection of alloxan produces permanent diabetes. Both substances have structural similarities to uric acid and glucose and can damage the insulin-producing Β-cells of the pancreas. Other cells are also sensitive to their cytotoxic effects, albeit to a lesser degree. Although the exact mechanism of toxicity is not fully understood, it is attributed to the formation of reactive oxygen species (free radicals).2


  1. Samar Basu. Studies on Experimental Models
  2. Anders A. F. Sim. Chronic Complications in Diabetes: Animal Models
  3. Suresh Kumar, Rajeshwar Singh, Neeru Vasudeva, and Sunil Sharma1. Acute and chronic animal models for the evaluation of anti-diabetic agents

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