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Anat Sci Int. 2016 Mar;91(2):151-62. doi: 10.1007/s12565-015-0279-9. Epub 2015 Apr 3.

Consumption of sucrose from infancy increases the visceral fat accumulation, concentration of triglycerides, insulin and leptin, and generates abnormalities in the adrenal gland.

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Doctorado en Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Autónoma de Tlaxcala, Tlaxcala, México.
Centro Tlaxcala de Biología de la Conducta, Universidad Autónoma de Tlaxcala, Tlaxcala, México.
Departamento de Biología de la Reproducción, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán, México, México.
Departamento de Biología Celular y Fisiología, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México, México.
Houston Methodist Research Institute, Houston, TX, USA.
Centro Tlaxcala de Biología de la Conducta, Universidad Autónoma de Tlaxcala, Tlaxcala, México.


Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages promotes the development of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and type 2 diabetes mellitus in humans. One factor related to the appearance of MetS components is the dysfunction of the adrenal gland. In fact, the experimental generation of hyperglycemia has been associated with morphological and microvascular changes in the adrenal glands of rats. We hypothesized that high sucrose consumption from infancy promotes histological disruption of the adrenal glands associated with the appearance of metabolic syndrome indicators. Male Wistar rats were separated at weaning (21 days old) into two groups: free access to tap water (control group, C) or 30 % sucrose diluted in water (sugar-fed group). After 12 weeks, high sucrose consumption promoted an increase in visceral fat accumulation, adipose cell number, and insulin resistance. Also, a rise in the concentration of triglycerides, very low-density lipoprotein, insulin and leptin was observed. In control rats, a histomorphometric asymmetry between the right and left adrenal glands was found. In the sugar-fed group, sucrose consumption produced a major change in adrenal gland asymmetry. No changes in corticosterone serum level were observed in either group. Our results suggest that a high sucrose liquid-diet from early life alters the morphology of adrenocortical zones, leading to MetS indicators.


Adrenal gland; Insulin; Leptin; Triglycerides; Visceral fat

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