Assessing Scientific Soundness and Translational Value of Animal Studies on DPP4 Inhibitors for Treating Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Laboratory Animal Science Group, IBMC—Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular, Universidade do Porto, Rua Alfredo Allen 208, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal
Instituto de Investigação e Inovação da Universidade do Porto, Rua Alfredo Allen 208, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal
Department of Public Health and Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Debrecen, Kassai út 26, 4028 Debrecen, Hungary
Faculty of Public Health, University of Debrecen, Kassai út 26, 4028 Debrecen, Hungary
Faculty of Medicine, University of Debrecen, Egyetem Square 1, 4032 Debrecen, Hungary
Institute of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, and Coimbra Institute for Clinical and Biomedical Research (iCBR), Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, 3000-548 Coimbra, Portugal
Center for Innovative Biomedicine and Biotechnology (CIBB), University of Coimbra, 3004-504 Coimbra, Portugal
Clinical Academic Center of Coimbra (CACC), 3004-504 Coimbra, Portugal
Office for Research Groups Attached to Universities and Other Institutions, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, 1051 Budapest, Hungary
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Dario Brunetti
Received: 14 January 2021 / Revised: 10 February 2021 / Accepted: 13 February 2021 / Published: 16 February 2021
The value of animal models to predict human outcomes has been increasingly challenged due to a low rate of translation between preclinical and clinical trials. However, translational failure has been proposed to be at least partly explained by the poor methodological quality of animal studies. We thus retrospectively assessed the predictive value of animal models in Type-2-diabetes research, comparing the same outcome measure (glycaemia) in response to a currently available class of antidiabetic drugs between published clinical trials and animal studies, and assessed methodological quality of the latter. In our sample, both mice and rats performed similarly to humans in response to dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP4) inhibitors. These results, while on animal models of just one disease treated with one drug class, suggest current criticism of animal models may not be entirely warranted, though we found a margin for improvement in the research quality of animal studies.