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Pancreas. 2000 Nov;21(4):376-84.

Reactive oxygen species activate mitogen-activated protein kinases in pancreatic acinar cells.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Medical School of Bialystok, Poland.


It has been recently reported that kinases that belong to the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family are rapidly activated by cholecystokinin (CCK) in rat pancreas both in vitro and in vivo. It is known that reactive oxygen species (ROS) play an important role in the pathogenesis of acute pancreatitis induced by supraphysiologic stimulation with CCK analogue, cerulein. The aim of our study was to evaluate whether MAPKs are activated by ROS in pancreatic acini. The activity of MAPK, c-Jun amino-terminal kinase (JNK), and p38 MAPK was determined in isolated rat pancreatic acinar cells by means of Western blotting, with the use of specific antibody that recognizes active, dually phosphorylated kinases. Incubation of acini with ROS donors, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and/or menadione (MND), strongly activated all three kinases. Activation of these kinases by ROS, but not by CCK, was substantially inhibited by pretreatment of acini with antioxidant N-acetylo-L-cysteine (NAC). Whereas CCK-induced activation of MAPK or JNK was totally or partially blocked by protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor GF-109203X, ROS-induced activation of MAPK, JNK, and p38 MAPK was PKC independent. In conclusion, ROS strongly activate MAPK, JNK, and p38 MAPK in pancreatic acinar cells. It may be of importance in acute pancreatitis, because ROS are involved in the pathogenesis of this disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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