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The exocrine pancreas plays an important role in zinc homeostasis. Feeding very high (2000-3000mgzinc/kg diet) levels of zinc oxide to piglets for short periods is a common practice in the swine industry to improve performance and prevent diseases. The impact on pancreatic function and possible side effects during long-term feeding of high dietary zinc levels are still poorly understood. A total of 54 weaned piglets were either fed with low (57mg/kg, LZn), normal (164mg/kg, NZn) or high (2425mg/kg, HZn) zinc concentration in the diets. After 4 weeks of feeding, ten piglets per treatment were euthanized and pancreas samples were taken. Tissue zinc concentration and metallothionein abundance was greater with HZn compared with NZn and LZn (P<0.05). Similarly, activity of α-amylase, lipase, trypsin and chymotrypsin was higher with HZn as compared with NZn and LZn diets (P<0.05), whereas elastase activity was unchanged. Total trolox equivalent antioxidative capacity of pancreas tissue was higher with HZn diets compared with the other treatments (P<0.05). Pancreatic protein profiles of NZn and HZn fed piglets were obtained by 2D-DIGE technique and revealed 15 differentially expressed proteins out of 2100 detected spots (P<0.05). The differentially expressed proteins aldose reductase, eukaryotic elongation factor II and peroxiredoxin III were confirmed by immunoblotting. Identified proteins include zinc finger-containing transcription factors and proteins mainly associated with oxidative stress response and signal transduction in HZn compared with NZn pigs. Histologic examination however showed no morphologic changes. The results suggest that long-term supply of very high dietary zinc increases zinc and metallothionein concentration, and digestive enzyme activity, but also triggers oxidative stress reactions in the pancreas of young pigs. The data provide new insights into pancreatic function under outbalanced zinc homeostasis.