Objective. To study alterations of serum levels of the pancreatic reg family of proteins in two models of acute pancreatitis. Summary Background Data. The pancreatic reg family of proteins is expressed in the acinar pancreas. Reg I (pancreatic stone protein, PSP) and reg III (pancreatitis-associated protein, PAP) are induced after the onset of acute pancreatitis, and both have been proposed as potential markers of pancreatitis. Methods. Pancreatitis was induced in rats by either retrograde infusion of sodium taurocholate or by direct trauma. Serum samples were obtained daily for 4 days after the procedure, and the animals were then killed. Twelve animals underwent sham procedure and six underwent daily analysis without surgery. Levels of reg I/PSP and reg III/PAP were estimated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results Reg III/PAP levels increased significantly the first day after induction of both types of pancreatitis and rapidly returned to baseline in all survivors. Even animals who received retrograde infusion of saline showed a mild increase in reg III/PAP on the first day, whereas control animals that did not undergo surgery showed no variations. Reg I/PSP serum levels remained unchanged throughout all experimental periods. Postinjury reg III/PAP levels significantly correlated with severity of the pancreatic injury and animal survival; reg I/PSP levels did not. Conclusion. After induction of pancreatitis, serum levels of reg I and III protein differ significantly. Reg III/PAP levels are a sensitive marker of pancreatic injury and early in the disease may be a useful prognostic indicator for disease severity.
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