Acute pancreatitis in obesity: Adipokines and dietary fish oil

Hayder H. Al-Azzawi, Terence E. Wade, Deborah A. Swartz-Basile, Sue Wang, Henry A. Pitt, Nicholas J. Zyromski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Acute pancreatitis is a substantial clinical problem accounting for 240,000 hospital admissions yearly in the United States. Obesity is epidemic and is clearly an independent risk factor for increased severity of acute pancreatitis (AP). Adipose tissue is an endocrine organ that secretes a variety of metabolically active substances termed adipokines. However, the role of adipokines in modulating acute pancreatitis severity remains incompletely understood. Dietary fish oil is rich in omega-3 free fatty acids and attenuates adipose tissue-induced inflammation. Therefore, we hypothesized that feeding obese mice diets rich in fish oil would alter the adipokine milieu and attenuate the severity of pancreatitis. Methods: Lean (C57BL/6 J) and obese (Lep Db) mice were fed either a soybean oil- or fish oil-rich diet for 4 weeks. AP was induced by six hourly intraperitoneal injections of cerulein (50 μg/kg). Serum adipokine levels were measured, and pancreatitis severity was assessed histologically and by measuring pancreatic concentrations of interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6), myleoperoxidase (MPO), and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1). Results: Obese mice developed more severe pancreatitis than lean mice. Fish oil significantly decreased serum leptin (lean and obese) and increased serum adiponectin (lean only). Fish oil did not alter the baseline pancreatic inflammatory milieu, nor did it change histologic or biochemical pancreatitis severity. Conclusion: These data demonstrate that a diet rich in fish oil altered the adipokine milieu in lean and congenitally obese mice; however, fish oil did not improve pancreatitis severity induced with cerulein hyperstimulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2318-2325
Number of pages8
JournalDigestive diseases and sciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • Adiponectin
  • Obesity
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Pancreatitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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