The nonhuman primate as a model for type 2 diabetes

Lynley D. Pound, Paul Kievit, Kevin L. Grove

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF THE REVIEW: Although rodent models provide insight into the mechanisms underlying type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), they are limited in their translatability to humans. The nonhuman primate (NHP) shares important metabolic similarities with the human, making it an ideal model for the investigation of type 2 diabetes and use in preclinical trials. This review highlights the key contributions in the field over the last year using the NHP model. RECENT FINDINGS: The NHP has not only provided novel insight into the normal and pathological processes that occur within the islet, but has also allowed for the preclinical testing of novel pharmaceutical targets for obesity and T2DM. Particularly, administration of fibroblast growth factor-21 in the NHP resulted in weight loss and improvements in metabolic health, supporting rodent studies and recent clinical trials. In addition, the NHP was used to demonstrate that a novel melanocortin-4 receptor agonist did not cause adverse cardiovascular effects. Finally, this model has been used to provide evidence that glucagon-like peptide-1-based therapies do not induce pancreatitis in the healthy NHP. SUMMARY: The insight gained from studies using the NHP model has allowed for a better understanding of the processes driving T2DM and has promoted the development of well tolerated and effective treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-94
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • fibroblast growth factor-21
  • glucagon-like peptide-1
  • melanocortin-4 receptor
  • nonhuman primate
  • type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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