Decreased mortality of severe acute pancreatitis after proximal cytokine blockade

J. G. Norman, M. G. Franz, G. S. Fink, J. Messina, P. J. Fabri, W. R. Gower, L. C. Carey, F. G. Moody, E. A. Deitch, T. R. Gadacz, A. O. Gaber, A. Warshaw, E. L. Bradley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

143 Scopus citations


Objective: This study determined the ability of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra) to decrease the mortality of experimental acute pancreatitis. The response of the inflammatory cytokine cascade and its subsequent effects on pancreatic morphology were measured to determine the role of these peptides in mediating pancreatic injury. Summary Background Data: Previous studies have shown that proinflammatory cytokines are produced in large amounts during acute pancreatitis and that blockade at the level of the IL-1 receptor significantly decreases intrinsic pancreatic damage. The subsequent effect on survival is not known. Methods: A lethal form of acute hemorrhagic necrotizing pancreatitis was induced in young female mice by feeding a choline deficient, ethionine supplemented (CDE) diet for 72 hours. For determination of mortality, the animals were divided into 3 groups of 45 animals each: control subjects received 100/μL normal saline intraperitoneally every 6 hours for 5 days; IL-1ra early mice received recombinant interleukin-1 receptor antagonist 15 mg/kg intraperitoneally every 6 hours for 5 days beginning at time 0; IL-1ra late mice received IL- 1ra 15 mg/kg intraperitoneally every 6 hours for 3.5 days beginning 1.5 days after introduction of the CDE diet. A parallel experiment was conducted simultaneously with a minimum of 29 animals per group, which were sacrificed daily for comparisons of serum amylase, lipase, IL-1, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor-α, IL-1ra, pancreatic wet weight, and blind histopathologic grading. Results: The 10-day modality in the untreated control group was 73%. Early and late IL-1ra administration resulted in decreases of mortality to 44% and 51%, respectively (both p <0.001). Interleukin-1 antagonism also was associated with a significant attenuation in the rise in pancreatic wet weight and serum amylase and lipase in both early and late IL-1ra groups (all p <0.05). All control animals developed a rapid elevation of the inflammatory cytokines, with maximal levels reached on day 3. The IL-1ra- treated animals, however, demonstrated a blunted rise of these mediators (all p <0.05). Blind histologic grading revealed an overall decrease in the severity of pancreatitis in those animals receiving the antagonist. Conclusions: Early or late blockade of the cytokine cascade at the level of the IL-1 receptor significantly decreases the mortality of severe acute pancreatitis. The mechanism by which this is accomplished appears to include attenuation of systemic inflammatory cytokines and decreased pancreatic destruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-634
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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