Disease Models

Cardiovascular Disease – There are numerous rat strains which act as experimental animals for the study of cardiovascular diseases displaying similar phenotypes as human during the progression of diseases. These diseases occur as spontaneous phenotypes and others can easily be induced chemically or even by change in environmental conditions including diet. As some strains are resistant to these changes they can act as a comparative strain.

Neurological Disease
– A series of rat strains act as multipurpose neurological disease models. Some strains are susceptible to induced phenotypes whereas others are not hence providing a basic comparative background for further investigations.


Mammary Cancer – In order to select the most relevant animal model for research, the model should have the same symptoms and outcome of the disease under question. Rats resemble human mammary cancer symptoms in many respects and show response to various drugs. Chemical carcinogen-induced, spontaneous and genetically modified rats are available for extensive studies. These provide a distinct pathway for studies and these models can be used in cancer prevention and therapeutic studies.  
Diabetes – Rats play a vital role as a model for diabetes as they provide invaluable insight in the pathogenesis of the disease. There are rat strains that spontaneously develop diseases that are similar to human type 1 diabetes and these animals can be selectively inbred to facilitate further studies. Diabetes can be induced by pharmacological (drugs that destroy the pancreatic cells) or surgical (total pancreatectomy) means even toxins like streptozotocin and alloxan can be used to induce hyperglycemia in rats.  

Respiratory Diseases – Most of the rat strains used in respiratory diseases are induced models. The larger size of these animals also helps to ensure stability under anesthesia. Here are some of the characteristics of the models used while studying the main respiratory diseases.


Immune and Inflammatory Diseases – Immune and inflammatory diseases are disorders that result from the dysregulation of the normal immune response that may lead to inflammation. These can cause organ damage, increased morbidity or mortality. Using rat as a model for inflammatory disease in biomedical research is common as inflammation mediates and drives many diseases including arthritis, allergies, cardiovascular, neuromuscular and infectious diseases to name a few.

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