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Dr David Andersson

2013 pump priming award recipient

Dr David Andersson, King's College London

Animal studies of diabetic sensory neuropathy are often carried out using streptozotocin (STZ) to induce diabetes. However, even local administration of very low doses of STZ evokes pain acutely. Furthermore, we have found that STZ can produce sensory neuropathy independently of its diabetogenic effect. Our preliminary findings thus cast doubt over the translational value of the STZ model.

We will now establish a colony of Ins2/Akita mice to enable us to examine mechanisms involved in pain and loss of sensation in diabetic sensory neuropathy, without the complications associated with STZ. Heterozygous Akita mice develop insulin dependent diabetes from 3-4 weeks of age. The Akita strain is available on the C57Bl/6J background making it suitable for crossing with a number of transgenic strains. We will also determine the molecular mechanisms responsible for the direct nociceptive effects of STZ.

The IPF award will allow me to establish the Ins2/Akita strain as a model of diabetic neuropathy. This initial study will be very valuable, since little information is available regarding sensory neuropathy in genetic mouse models of diabetes.