J Korean Ophthalmol Soc.  2004 May;45(5):825-831.

Ultrastructural Changes in Corneas of Diabetic Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) Rats

  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, Pusan National University, Busan, Korea. jongsool@pusan.ac.kr


To evaluate the changes in corneal fine structure of diabetic Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rats, compared with age-matched nondiabetic rats. METHODS: At the ages of 30 and 50 weeks, we measured the body weight and blood glucose level of OELTF and control rats (n=5 in each age-matched group). Using the transmission electron micrography (TEM), we examined the ultrastructural changes between the corneas of 30-and 50-week-old OLETF and control rats. RESULTS: At the age of 30 and 50 weeks, the mean body weight and blood glucose levels of OLETF rats were significantly higher than those of control rats (p<0.05). The area of basement membrane occupied by hemidesmosome decreased significantly in OLETF rats at the ages of 30 and 50 weeks compared with control rats (p<0.001). In TEM, the corneas of OLETF rats showed irregular, thick basement membranes thin hemidesmosomes and decreased anchoring fibrils formation, compared with control rats. There was no significant difference of Descemet's membrane thickness between OLETF and control rats (p>0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The author could observe the changes of the corneal adherent complex and basement membrane in OLETF rats, a new strain of spontaneous non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) model. OLETF rats may be useful as an animal model of NIDDM to examine the diabetic corneal changes.


Adherent complex; Descemet's membrane; Diabetic rat; OLETF
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