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Am J Physiol. 1993 Jul;265(1 Pt 1):G165-71.

Arterial constriction, ischemia-reperfusion, and leukocyte adherence in acute pancreatitis.

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  • 1Department of Endocrinology, J. W. Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.


We investigated microcirculatory changes in sodium taurocholate (ST)-induced pancreatitis. Groups of rats received as tracer either fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran or acridine orange intravenously. The microcirculation of the exposed pancreas was observed by use of a video camera attached to an epi-illumination microscope. Vessel diameters and plaques of adherent leukocytes were measured with a digital image-analyzing system. In contrast to 0.4 ml of saline, intraductal infusion of ST (4%, 0.4 ml) induced a constriction of interlobular pancreatic arteries of 79 +/- 2% (P < 0.01) within 2 min. This constriction could not be antagonized by the leukotriene antagonist CGP-35949B. The radical scavengers superoxide dismutase (SOD) and N-(2-mercaptopropionyl)glycine (MPG) prevented the arterial constriction. Constriction of pancreatic arteries was accompanied by a decrease of erythrocyte velocity in the pancreatic capillaries. Flux in the head of the pancreas measured by laser-Doppler velocimetry decreased from 300 +/- 69 to 74 +/- 23 perfusion units (P < 0.01) after 446 +/- 159 s. Subsequently an increase of perfusion values was observed indicating reperfusion phenomena. ST induced leukocyte adherence to the walls of interlobular veins forming plaques constituting 39% of the observed venular cross section within 6 min. The leukotriene antagonist, SOD, or MPG prevented leukocyte adherence. Arterial constriction followed by ischemia-reperfusion and leukocyte adherence to venular endothelium during the reperfusion period represented the sequence of microcirculatory changes in ST-induced pancreatitis. The radical scavengers SOD and MPG prevented arterial constriction and leukocyte adherence to venular endothelium, indicating the involvement of free radicals in the pathogenesis of ST-induced pancreatitis in the rat.

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