The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences

Comparative analysis of pancreatic changes in aged rats fed life long with sunflower, fish, or olive oils.

PMID 24136874


An adequate pancreatic structure is necessary for optimal organ function. Structural changes are critical in the development of age-related pancreatic disorders. We aimed to study the effect of oil consumption on pancreas histology in order to find aging-related signs. To this end, three groups of rats were fed an isocaloric diet for 2 years, where virgin olive, sunflower, or fish oil was included. Pancreatic samples for microscopy and blood samples were collected at the moment of sacrifice. As a result, the sunflower oil-fed rats presented higher β-cell numbers and twice the insulin content than virgin olive oil-fed animals. In addition, rats fed with fish oil developed acinar fibrosis and macrophage infiltrates in peri-insular regions, compared with counterparts fed with virgin olive oil. Inflammation signs were less prominent in the sunflower group. The obtained data emphasize the importance of dietary fatty acids in determining pancreatic structure.