Atherosclerosis and diabetes: Porcine models with pharmacological interventions

Obesity, diabetes and concurrent cardiovascular disease is a major global challenge today and pigs serve for several reasons, as important models of these conditions.

High resemblance of gastrointestinal and cardiovascular anatomy and physiology to human, are important reasons, and pigs serves as valuable models for evaluation of eg. new imaging modalities to apply in the clinic for human patients or for studying drug effect on disease, in drug development.

In pigs, diabetes does not develop spontaneously as it is seen in humans, but it can be induced in the animals under controlled circumstances. This enables studies of some of the late complications diabetic patients suffer including chronic kidney disease, disease in the eyes and stiffening of blood vessels and myocardium.

The work in the group focus especially on advanced imaging of atherosclerosis (disease causing stiffening of the vessels), myocardial fibrosis and changes in kidney function, as a consequence of diabetes, in order to evaluate promising therapeutic medical therapy.