Rare sugar D-psicose has cropped up as a non-toxic and effective compound to protect and preserve pancreatic β-islets in the growing type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) rats through the regulation of glucose and fat metabolism. The present study was undertaken to examine the effect of rare sugar D-psicose on the protection of pancreatic β-islets using Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rats, a T2DM model. Treated rats were fed with 5% D-psicose or 5% D-glucose supplemented drinking water, and only water in the control for 13 weeks. A non-diabetic Long-Evans Tokushima Otsuka (LETO), fed with water served as a counter control of OLETF. D-Psicose significantly attenuated progressive β-islet fibrosis and preserved islets, evaluated by hematoxylin-eosin staining, Masson's trichrome staining and immunostainings of insulin and α-smooth muscle actin (SMA). D-Psicose significantly reduced increase in body weight and abdominal fat deposition. Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) showed reduced blood glucose levels suggesting the improvement of insulin resistance. All these data suggests that D-psicose protected and preserved pancreatic β-islets through the maintenance of hyperglycemia and by the prevention of fat accumulation in OLETF rats.
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