The final common pathway in diabetes development is β cell apoptosis. We herein describe a novel diabetes model based on transgenic NOD.k iHEL mice, wherein male mice develop diabetes due to nonimmune-mediated β cell death. Histology and electron microscopy confirm endoplasmic reticulum (ER) abnormalities that are consistent with endoplasmic stress caused by the HEL transgene. The NOD.k iHEL model may be particularly useful for studying mechanisms of β cell death secondary to ER stress and also for testing potential therapies designed to protect β cells from stress-induced apoptosis. The observation that only male NOD.k iHEL mice develop diabetes and exhibit ER abnormalities is intriguing and suggests these mice may be useful in deciphering the link between hyperandrogenism, insulin resistance, and diabetes.
- Cell death
- Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress
- NOD.k iHEL
- β cell