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J Surg Res. 1994 Aug;57(2):299-311.

Ligation-induced acute pancreatitis in rats and opossums: a comparative morphologic study of the early phase.

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Surgical Service, Veterans Affairs Lakeside Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois 60611.


Bile and pancreatic duct ligation (BPDL) in rats does not induce severe acute pancreatitis but only mild inflammation, which is self-limiting and eventually leads to pancreatic atrophy. However, BPDL in opossums induces severe acute necrotizing pancreatitis which uniformly leads to death within 14 days. We compared pancreatic morphologic changes after 24 hr of BPDL in rats and opossums. Pancreatitis histology score and acinar cell ultrastructural changes were evaluated. In both species, BPDL was associated with significant increases in histology score compared to sham controls (5.0 +/- 0.3 vs 1.5 +/- 0.3 in rats, 5.3 +/- 0.4 vs 1.1 +/- 0.1 in opossums; mean +/- SEM, ANOVA, P < 0.05). However, there was no significant difference in histology score between rats and opossums following BPDL; histologic changes, such as white blood cell infiltration, acinar cell vacuolation, and focal acinar cell necrosis, were similar. Acinar cell ultrastructural changes after BPDL in both species included dilated endoplasmic reticulum and autophagic vacuole formation. These findings indicate that the early morphologic changes after BPDL in rats are quite similar to those seen early in the course of BPDL-induced acute necrotizing pancreatitis in opossums. As the rat is a more economical and convenient model to study than the opossum, this study supports the use of the rat model to conduct pilot studies of early events in the development of BPDL-induced acute pancreatitis. This study also suggests the potential for investigating mechanisms that may be present in the rat which protect against progressive and fatal acute necrotizing pancreatitis as observed in opossums after longer periods of BPDL.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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