Mutation of the murine maturity-onset diabetes mellitus of the young (Mody) locus induces diabetes, but the effects of its homozygosity on the pancreas remain unknown. F2 mice were obtained by F1 (diabetic C57BL6 x normal Mus musculus castaneus) crosses. About 20% of the F2 progeny developed diabetes by 2 wk of age, 50% of the progeny were normal at 2 wk and developed diabetes between 5 and 8 wk of age, and the remaining 30% did not develop diabetes. Quantitative trait locus analysis using blood glucose levels of 118 F2 mice at 2 wk of age and 5-8 wk of age located Mody within 3 cM of D7Mit258. Histopathological investigation revealed hypoplastic islets (approximately 33% of that of wild-type mice) and a lower density of beta cells (approximately 20% of wild-type) with a reciprocal dominance of alpha cells (four times that of wild-type) in Mody homozygotes. Electron microscopic observations revealed a specific decrease in the number of insulin secretory granules and a lower density of beta cells. Ratios of insulin to glucagon contents confirmed specific decreases in insulin content: 0.01 for homozygotes, 0.54 for heterozygotes, and 1.11 for wild-type mice on day 14. These results suggest that Mody is involved in both islet growth and beta cell function.
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