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Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2013 Oct;6(10):1064-73. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-13-0065. Epub 2013 Aug 13.

High-fat, high-calorie diet promotes early pancreatic neoplasia in the conditional KrasG12D mouse model.

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Department of Surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, 10833 LeConte Avenue, 72-236 CHS, Los Angeles, CA 90095.


There is epidemiologic evidence that obesity increases the risk of cancers. Several underlying mechanisms, including inflammation and insulin resistance, are proposed. However, the driving mechanisms in pancreatic cancer are poorly understood. The goal of the present study was to develop a model of diet-induced obesity and pancreatic cancer development in a state-of-the-art mouse model, which resembles important clinical features of human obesity, for example, weight gain and metabolic disturbances. Offspring of Pdx-1-Cre and LSL-KrasG12D mice were allocated to either a high-fat, high-calorie diet (HFCD; ∼4,535 kcal/kg; 40% of calories from fats) or control diet (∼3,725 kcal/kg; 12% of calories from fats) for 3 months. Compared with control animals, mice fed with the HFCD significantly gained more weight and developed hyperinsulinemia, hyperglycemia, hyperleptinemia, and elevated levels of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I). The pancreas of HFCD-fed animals showed robust signs of inflammation with increased numbers of infiltrating inflammatory cells (macrophages and T cells), elevated levels of several cytokines and chemokines, increased stromal fibrosis, and more advanced PanIN lesions. Our results show that a diet high in fats and calories leads to obesity and metabolic disturbances similar to humans and accelerates early pancreatic neoplasia in the conditional KrasG12D mouse model. This model and findings will provide the basis for more robust studies attempting to unravel the mechanisms underlying the cancer-promoting properties of obesity, as well as to evaluate dietary- and chemopreventive strategies targeting obesity-associated pancreatic cancer development.

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