Date of Defense

Summer 7-28-1994

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Susan Stapleton, Chemistry

Second Advisor

Cindy Hoorn, Biological Sciences

Third Advisor

Charles Howard, Jr., Associate Dean, College of Health and Human Services

Abstract

Historically, diabetes mellitus is the most common of all endocrine disorders, yet its etiology is poorly understood. Two types have been identified: insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). Understanding the etiology of this disease is important because any deficiency in insulin action causes abnormalities in carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism which can lead to serious consequences, including death. This study involves the analysis of various factors that have been correlated with diabetes mellitus. In the first part of this study, the author analyzed serum samples collected from Macaca nigra, a species of monkey that spontaneously develop diabetes. The goal was to identify significant changes that take place in the concentration of these factors and perhaps to correlate these to the onset of the disease. In the second part of the study, the author analyzed insulin levels in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats treated with insulin or insulin-mimetics. Treatment of animals results in destruction of the pancreatic B-cells; hence insulin secretion is lost. Insulin treatment is then required for the animal to metabolize glucose normally. Questions about the ability of these mimetics to regulate other insulin controlled metabolic pathways, however, remain unanswered. This study addressed the question of whether or not the insulin mimetcs were effective at not only glucose normalization in a diabetic animal but also in fatty acid metabolism which is an insulin controlled pathway.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only

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