Previous studies using the isolated ex vivo perfused canine pancreas preparation showed that during a 4-hour perfusion pancreatitis (edema, weight gain, hyperamylasemia) can be induced by four different stimuli. The stimuli include the intra-arterial infusion of oleic acid (FFA), a 2-hour period of ischemia before perfusion (ISCH), partial obstruction of the pancreatic duct with secretin stimulation (POSS), and the intra-arterial infusion of cerulein at supramaximal doses (CER). In the present study, changes in high-energy phosphate metabolism, as determined by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and changes in cellular structure, determined by light and electron microscopy, were documented for all four models of acute pancreatitis. The control preparations remained stable for the 4-hour perfusion period, with no decrease in adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels. In the FFA preparations, ATP decreased to 36% of baseline levels during the 4-hour perfusion (p < 0.001). In the ISCH preparations, ATP decreased to undetectable levels during the 2-hour period of ischemia, but recovered rapidly and remained at baseline levels during the perfusion. ATP levels remained stable in the remaining two models of pancreatitis (POSS, CER). Microscopy demonstrated that the initial injury was located chiefly in the capillaries (swollen endothelium, intravascular thrombi) in the FFA and ISCH preparations. In the POSS and CER preparations, capillary changes were minimal and the injury was located chiefly in the acinar cells (swollen endoplasmic reticulum, zymogen granule depletion, vacuolization). The POSS preparations also showed striking dilation of centroacinar lumens reflecting duct obstruction. In additional studies it was shown that the ATP decline in the FFA preparations could be significantly reduced by pretreatment with free radical scavengers. The morphologic changes could be reduced by free radical scavengers in the FFA and ISCH preparations. Any amelioration of morphologic injury in the POSS preparations was obscured by dilatation of centroacinar lumens in both treated and untreated groups. The morphologic changes in the CER preparations were reduced by treatment with a cholecystokinin inhibitor.
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