Fifty young hamsters with elevated, two-band type α-2 serum proteins were studied for development of glycosuria for two years. During this observation period, none of these animals developed glycosuria. These results did not support the suggestion that the quantitative and qualitative changes in α-2 proteins correlate with prediabetes in the Chinese hamster.
Serum protein patterns have been run on fifty diabetic and ninety-six normal animals. Three types of patterns have been found: three α-2 protein bands, two bands, and a type which appears to be intermediate between the three-and two-banded types. No significant difference in the incidence of various α-2 types was found between diabetics and nondiabetics. Since many animals with elevated α-2 protein with two bands do not develop glycosuria and α-2 patterns of diabetics do not differ from nondiabetics, it is concluded that in the Upjohn colony α-2 proteins cannot be used as markers for diabetes.
The only criterion available for distinguishing “diabetics” from “nondiabetics” is glycosuria. Mild diabetic animals respond to tolbutamide with a reduction in glycosuria but severe diabetics do not. Therefore, diabetic hamsters are similar to diabetic humans in responsiveness to tolbutamide.