Dideoxyinosine (DDI, Videx) is a recently developed nucleoside analog with activity against the human immunodeficiency virus. A significant number of patients with AIDS or AIDS-related complex treated with DDI have developed acute pancreatitis. This study was performed to investigate the acute effects of DDI on the pancreas utilizing an isolated ex vivo perfused canine pancreas preparation. Control preparations remained normal throughout a 4-hr perfusion period. The addition of 12.5 mg of DDI to the perfusate (ca. 100 μmol/liter) did not induce any changes in the preparation. The addition of 62.5 mg of DDI to the perfusate (ca. 500 μmol/liter) did not induce changes in the gross appearance, weight gain, or amylase activity. However, the arterial pressure and the oxygen consumption of the preparation decreased significantly after the administration of DDI. The amount of zymogen in the acinar cells also decreased, as evaluated by electron microscopy. Protein secretion increased temporarily, probably as a result of acinar cell emptying (increased secretion without new synthesis). Water and bicarbonate secretion were also increased during the fourth perfusion hour.
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