Diabetes mellitus was induced using a single intraperitoneal injection of STZ (60 mg/kg b.w.). STZ was dissolved in ice-cold saline and administered after an overnight fast. The rats were given ad libitum access to 5% glucose which they drank overnight, post-STZ injection, to prevent hypoglycemia and mortality. Rats with fasting blood glucose ≥ 14 mmol/L, as recorded using a glucometer (URight TD-4279 Blood Glucose Monitoring System, Dusseldorf, Germany) 72 h post-STZ injection, were considered diabetic and employed for the present study.

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