According to the information provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), overweight and obesity are the fifth leading causes of death in the world. Due to the alarming increase of this disorder in recent years, studies have been carried out to evidence harmful effects on human or animal tissues. Our objective was to evaluate the morphological and physiological changes of C57BL/6 mice adrenal glands (AGs), associated with high fat diets (HFDs), we used 14 male mice, 5 months old, fed for 14 weeks according to two diets. The standard chow group (SC) was fed AIN-93M and the high fat group (HF) was fed AIN-93M-HF. At the end of the experiment, biometric analysis was performed and euthanasia was performed. Blood was then extracted for biochemical analysis and AGs were processed for mesoscopic, histological, morphometric and stereological studies. We used Student’s t-test (p<0.05) for statistical analysis. SC group showed a lower weight (29.67±1.28 g) with respect to the HF group (38.46±4.68 g, p=0.002). COL-T, HDL-C, TG and CORT analysis revealed differences between SC group and HF (p≤0.001). Focally, in the fasciculate area, there was an increase in the core-cytoplasm ratio and a greater lipid vacuole presence and size. There was a significant reduction (p=0.001) in Vvfas=7.365±3.326 % of the HF group fasciculate area compared to SC group (Vvfas=9.619±4.548 %). Obesity induced by HF diets affects adrenal gland physiology and morphology of mice. Our results suggest that both the percentage of fat as well as the time of administration of the diet, produce a diurnal reduction of corticosterone, which could be due to an increase in the metabolic clearance of this hormone and not to the inhibition of the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis.
KEY WORDS: Adrenal gland; Morphometry; Stereology; High fat diet; Corticosterone.