Long-term exposure to a high starch, low-protein diet (HSTD) induces body weight gain and hyperinsulinemia concomitantly with an increase in β-cell mass (BCM) and pancreatic islets number in mice; however, the effect of short-term exposure to HSTD on BCM and islet number has not been elucidated. In the present study, we investigated changes in body weight, plasma insulin levels, BCM and islet number in mice fed HSTD for 5 weeks followed by normal chow (NC) for 2 weeks. BCM and islet number were increased in mice fed HSTD for 5 weeks compared with those in mice fed NC. On the other hand, mice fed HSTD for 5 weeks followed by NC for 2 weeks (SN) showed decreased BCM and insulin levels, compared to mice fed HSTD for 7 weeks, and no significant differences in these parameters were observed between SN and the control NC at 7 weeks. No significant difference in body weight was observed among HSTD, NC and SN fed groups. These results suggest that a high-starch diet induces an increase in BCM in a manner independent of body weight gain, and that 2 weeks of NC feeding is sufficient for the reversal of the morphological changes induced in islets by HSTD feeding.
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