Epithelial-Cell Hyperproliferation Induced in the Exocrine Pancreas of Mice by a Western-Style Diet

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Journal Article

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Pancreatic cancer is a common cause of mortality in the United States, with an estimated 27 800 people dying of the disease in this country in 1996. Epidemiologic studies have suggested that Western diets containing high fat, high protein, and low calcium contents are associated with increased incidence of pancreatic cancer. Purpose: We investigated whether a Western-style diet containing increased fat content and decreased calcium and vitamin D contents would induce epithelial cell hyperproliferation (excess cell duplication) or hyperplasia (excess cell accumulation) in the pancreas, as was previously demonstrated in the colon and mammary gland. Methods: C57BL/6J mice at 4 weeks of age were randomly assigned to one of two groups of 14 mice each. One group received the control diet ad libitum, and the other group was given the Western-style diet ad libitum. After 6, 9, and 15 weeks on the diet, four or five mice per group were infused with 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) for 72 hours by use of subcutaneously implanted Alzet osmotic pumps. The mice were then killed, and the pancreas of each mouse was removed. In the exocrine pancreas with ductal secretion, the duct system (including interlobular and intralobular ducts and centroacinar [i.e., centroductular] cells) and acini were measured both histopathologically and immunohistochemically (BrdU) and were analyzed without knowledge of the source of the specimens. Two-way analysis of variance was carried out. All P values were generated from two-sided tests for statistical significance. Results: The number of pancreatic ducts (inter-lobular, intralobular, and centroacinar--cancer-prone regions in certain rodent models and in humans) and acini per mouse in the Western-style diet group was similar to that in the control diet group during the entire feeding period (P =.76, .32, .93, and.42, respectively). Statistically significant higher BrdU-labeling indices of the ductal interlobular and intralobular epithelial cells were seen in mice fed the Western-style diet than in mice fed the control diet during the entire observation period (P =.014 and .016, respectively). There was no statistically significant difference (P =.098) between both diet groups in the BrdU-labeling indices of the centroacinar epithelial cells. Conclusions: A Western-style diet induced pancreatic epithelial cell hyperproliferation in mice, further suggesting that increased fat content and decreased calcium and vitamin D contribute to the development of pancreatic neoplasms.


Econometrics | Medicine and Health Sciences

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Journal of the National Cancer Institute and Journal of the National Cancer Institute Monographs





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