Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

King, Sondra L.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Home Economics


Diabetes; Insulin; Hyperchoesteremia; Allexan


Die purpose of this study was to determine whether there is an altered zinc:copper ratio and cholesterol metabolism in experimental diabetes mellitus, if the zinc:copper ratio can be correlated with hypercholesterolemia, and whether diabetic control using insulin will normalize plasma zinc, copper and cholesterol levels. Twenty-three Sprague Dawley male albino rats were divided into 3 groups: control, insulin-treated diabetic, and uncontrolled diabetic. Diabetes was induced by a single intraperitcneal injection of alloxan at a dose of 150 mg/kg of body weight. Subcutaneous NPH insulin injections (4 U/kg - 7 U/kg) were given to the insulin-treated group for 13 days, after which blood was collected via decapitation following a 6-hour fast. Plasma zinc and copper were measured by Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry; plasma cholesterol was spectrophotcmetrically analyzed by the Wybenga method. Effect of alloxan diabetes led to elevated cholesterol levels in both diabetic groups compared to controls (p<0.02): control, 55.19 mg/100 ml; insulin-treated diabetic, 74.96 mg/100 ml; and uncontrolled diabetes, 91.65 mg/100 ml. Results of a two-sanple t-test failed to find a significant difference between the 2 diabetic groups. A significant negative correlation was found between plasma cholesterol and plasma zinc in uncontrolled diabetes (p< 0.0133), as well as between plasma cholesterol and the zinc:copper ratio (p<0.05). As a result of this study, it was found that hypercholesterolemia was a result of experimental alloxan diabetes. Further research is needed to determine the effect of good diabetic ocntrol on plasma zinc, copper and cholesterol, as well as the correlation between the zinc:copper ratio and hypercholesterolemia.


Bibliography: pages 42-45.


vii, 47 pages




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