Expert Reviews in Molecular Medicine

Review Article

Use of mouse models in studying type 2 diabetes mellitus

Angela W.S. Leea1 c1 and Roger D. Coxa1

a1 Metabolism and Inflammation, MRC Mammalian Genetics Unit, Harwell Oxford, UK.


The use of mouse models in medical research has greatly contributed to our understanding of the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus and the mechanisms of disease progression in the context of insulin resistance and β-cell dysfunction. Maintenance of glucose homeostasis involves a complex interplay of many genes and their actions in response to exogenous stimuli. In recent years, the availability of large population-based cohorts and the capacity to genotype enormous numbers of common genetic variants have driven various large-scale genome-wide association studies, which has greatly accelerated the identification of novel genes likely to be involved in the development of type 2 diabetes. The increasing demand for verifying novel genes is met by the timely development of new mouse resources established as various collaborative projects involving major transgenic and phenotyping centres and laboratories worldwide. The surge of new data will ultimately enable translational research into potential improvement and refinement of current type 2 diabetes therapy options, and hopefully restore quality of life for patients.

(Online publication January 06 2011)


c1 Corresponding author: Angela W.S. Lee, MRC Mammalian Genetics Unit, Harwell Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX11 0RD, UK. E-mail: