Objective: The histological alteration of the exocrine pancreas in obesity has not been clarified. In the present study, we investigated biochemical and histological changes in the exocrine pancreas of obese model rats.
Methods: Zucker lean rats were fed a standard diet, and Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats were divided into 2 groups fed a standard diet and a high-fat diet, respectively. These experimental groups were fed each of the diets from 6 weeks until 12, 18, 24 weeks of age. We performed blood biochemical assays and histological analysis of the pancreas.
Results: In the ZDF rats fed a high-fat diet, the ratio of accumulated pancreatic fat area relative to exocrine gland area was increased significantly at 18 weeks of age in comparison with the other 2 groups (P < 0.05), and lipid droplets were observed in acinar cells. Subsequently, at 24 weeks of age in this group, pancreatic fibrosis and the serum exocrine pancreatic enzyme levels were increased significantly relative to the other 2 groups (P < 0.01).
Conclusions: In ZDF rats fed a chronic high-fat diet, fat accumulates in pancreatic acinar cells, and this fatty change seems to be related to subsequent pancreatic fibrosis and acinar cell injury.