To investigate the pathobiology of severe acute pancreatitis, we studied the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in peritoneal macrophages of experimental pancreatitis. Taurocholate (TCA) pancreatitis and cerulein (CE) pancreatitis were used as models of lethal and self-limited pancreatitis, respectively, and the mechanism of iNOS expression in peritoneal macrophages was studied. Serum nitrate and nitrite (NOx) concentrations increased during the course of TCA pancreatitis, and iNOS- immunoreactivity was detected in the peritoneal macrophages 12 h after the induction of TCA pancreatitis, but these phenomena were not observed in CE pancreatitis. Despite the difference in the iNOS expression, the iNOS messenger RNA (mRNA) and the activation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) were detected in the peritoneal macrophages of both pancreatitis models. The supernatant of TCA pancreatitis ascites could induce iNOS in the peritoneal macrophages of normal rats in vitro, but the peritoneal lavage fluid of CE pancreatitis rats could not. The results indicated that there may be qualitative or quantitative differences in the macrophage activation between the two types of experimental pancreatitis and suggested that the ascites of rats with lethal acute pancreatitis contains some soluble factors that activate the macrophage/monocyte system and cause an overproduction of NO by the iNOS expression.
- Acute pancreatitis
- Inducible nitric oxide synthase
- Nuclear factor- κB
- Peritoneal macrophage