Acute pancreatitis in aging animals: Loss of pancreatitis-associated protein protection?

Sophia Fu, Albert Stanek, Cathy M. Mueller, Nefertti A. Brown, Chongmin Huan, Martin H. Bluth, Michael E. Zenilman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


AIM: To investigate the effect of age on severity of acute pancreatitis (AP) using biochemical markers, histology and expression of the protective pancreatitis-associated proteins (PAPs). METHODS: AP was induced via intraductal injection of 4% sodium taurocholate in young and old rats. Sera and pancreata were assayed at 24 h for the parameters listed above; we also employed a novel molecular technique to assess bacterial infiltration using polymerase chain reaction to measure bacterial genomic ribosomal RNA. RESULTS: At 24 h after induction of A P, the pancreata of older animals had less edema (mean ± SE histologic score of young vs old: 3.11 ± 0.16 vs 2.50 ± -0.11, P <0.05), decreased local inflammatory response (histologic score of stromal infiltrate: 3.11 ± 0.27 vs 2.00 ± 0.17, P <0.05) and increased bacterial infiltration (174% ± 52% increase from sham vs 377% ± 4%, P <0.05). A decreased expression of PAP1 and PAP2 was demonstrated by Western blotting analysis and immunohisto-chemical staining. There were no differences in serum amylase and lipase activity, or tissue myeloperoxidase or monocyte chemotactic protein-1 levels. However, in the most-aged group, serum C-reactive protein levels were higher (young vs old: 0.249 ± 0.04 mg/dL vs 2.45 ± 0.68 mg/dL, P <0.05). CONCLUSION: In older animals, there is depressed PAP expression related to a blunted inflammatory response in AP which is associated with worsened bacterial infiltration and higher C-reactive protein level; this may explain the more aggressive clinical course.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3379-3388
Number of pages10
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012



  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Aging
  • Molecular biology
  • Pancreatitis-associated protein
  • Rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

Cite this

Fu, S., Stanek, A., Mueller, C. M., Brown, N. A., Huan, C., Bluth, M. H., & Zenilman, M. E. (2012). Acute pancreatitis in aging animals: Loss of pancreatitis-associated protein protection? World Journal of Gastroenterology, 18(26), 3379-3388.