Non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in cats and humans

Andrea L. Struble, Richard W Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Diabetes mellitus is a well-recognized endocrine disorder in humans and cats. Non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) is the most common form of diabetes mellitus in humans and also occurs in cats. This form of diabetes is a complex metabolic disorder that is characterized by insulin resistance and dysfunctional β cells. The amount of insulin secreted is not sufficient to overcome peripheral insulin resistance. The pathogenesis in humans is multifactorial; the most important factors are obesity, genetics, and islet amyloidosis. Islet-amyloid polypeptide (amylin) has been identified in the pancreatic islet cells of humans and cats and is cosecreted with insulin. Amylin has been demonstrated to inhibit insulin secretion and to cause insulin resistance; it thus may be hypersecreted in patients with NIDDM and may be the cause of insulin resistance. Diagnosis of NIDDM rather than insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) in cats often occurs retrospectively, after the need for insulin has been ascertained. Treatment options for patients with NIDDM include weight loss, nutritional therapy, oral hypoglycemic drugs, and insulin therapy. Potential future therapies may involve the use of vanadium and thiazolidinediones, which have produced encouraging results in preliminary studies in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)935-944
Number of pages10
JournalCompendium on Continuing Education for the Practicing Veterinarian
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • veterinary(all)


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