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Carcinogenesis. 1993 May;14(5):1021-6.

Effects of high fat diet and cholecystokinin receptor blockade on pancreatic growth and tumor initiation in the hamster.

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Department of Biomedical Sciences, Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, NE.


The mechanism by which high-fat diet potentiates pancreatic cancer is not known, but trophic hormones may be involved. In preliminary growth studies, hamsters fed a high fat diet (17.5% lard, 17.5% corn oil) for 14 days showed a 16.3% increase (P < 0.01) in pancreatic weight compared to controls on low fat diet (2.5% lard, 2.5% corn oil). A significant increase was also seen at 28 days. Similar increases were seen in pancreatic DNA (29%, P < 0.01) and pancreatic RNA (22%, P < 0.05) at 14 days. Plasma cholecystokinin (CCK) levels at 14 days were 2.5 fold higher in the animals fed high fat (P < 0.01). Infusion of the CCK antagonist MK329 (25 nmol/kg/h) completely abolished the increase in pancreatic weight, pancreatic DNA and pancreatic RNA. The effect of CCK receptor blockade during the initiation period of carcinogenesis was investigated in hamsters fed the same diets used in the growth studies. One hundred animals received a single injection of N-nitrosobis(2-oxopropyl)amine, (BOP, 20 mg/kg). Half of the hamsters in each diet group received a 2 week infusion of MK329 (25 nmol/kg/h), beginning 8 days before carcinogen administration. At the time of death, 55 weeks after carcinogen administration, non-fasting plasma CCK levels were 31% higher in the high fat fed hamsters than in the low fat fed animals (P < 0.01). The high-fat diet group had a 3-fold increase in total cancer incidence and a 5-fold increase in advanced lesions (adenocarcinomas). Tumor incidence and yield were not changed in either diet group by CCK-receptor blockade during the initiation period. Cholecystokinin appears to mediate the short-term trophic effect that high-fat feeding has on the pancreas. However, potentiation of pancreatic cancer by high-fat diet in the hamster cancer model does not appear to be influenced by endogenous cholecystokinin at the time of tumor induction.

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