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Gastroenterology. 2007 Oct;133(4):1293-303. Epub 2007 Jul 3.

Bacterial endotoxin: a trigger factor for alcoholic pancreatitis? Evidence from a novel, physiologically relevant animal model.

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  • 1Pancreatic Research Group, South Western Sydney Clinical School, Sydney, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND & AIMS:

This study examined the possible role of endotoxinemia (from increased gut permeability) as an additional trigger factor for overt pancreatic disease and as a promoter of chronic pancreatic injury in alcoholics by using a rat model of chronic alcohol feeding and in vitro experiments with cultured pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs), the key mediators of pancreatic fibrosis.

METHODS:

In the in vivo model, Sprague-Dawley rats fed isocaloric Lieber-DeCarli liquid diets +/- alcohol for 10 weeks were challenged with a single dose or 3 repeated doses of the endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and the pancreas was examined. In the in vitro studies, rat PSCs were assessed for activation on exposure to LPS +/- ethanol. The expression of LPS receptors TLR4 and CD14 also was assessed in rat and human PSCs.

RESULTS:

In the in vivo model, single or repeated LPS challenge resulted in significantly greater pancreatic injury in alcohol-fed rats compared with rats fed the control diet without alcohol. Notably, repeated LPS injections caused pancreatic fibrosis in alcohol-fed rats, but not in rats fed the control diet. In the in vitro studies, PSCs were activated by LPS. Alcohol + LPS exerted a synergistic effect on PSC activation. Importantly, both rat and human PSCs expressed TLR4 and CD14.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study describes, for the first time, a clinically relevant animal model of alcohol-related pancreatic injury and provides strong in vivo and in vitro evidence that suggests that LPS is a trigger factor in the initiation and progression of alcoholic pancreatitis.

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PMID:
17919500
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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