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Pathophysiology of acute pancreatitis (AP) has not been clearly established; nevertheless, accumulating evidence implicates highly reactive oxygen species (ROS) as important mediators of exocrine tissue damage. In this study, we used a water-soluble radical initiator, 2,2 -azobis-(2-amidinopropane) dihydrochloride (AAPH), to investigate the consequences of oxidative stress insult to the rat pancreas. The detailed characterisation of acini ultrastructural changes in the early course (3, 6, 12, 24 h) of AAPH-induced pancreatitis (40 mg/1 kg body weight) was performed. Considerable damage to the mitochondria in acinar cells manifested by increased translucence of the matrix, partial destruction of cristae, and formation of myelin figures were noted. At the same time, focal dilation, degranulation of rough endoplasmic reticulum, and reduced number of zymogen granules was observed. The most prominent ultrastructural feature was accumulation of highly polymorphic cytoplasmic vacuoles in acinar cells. Double membrane-bound autophagosomes, different in size and shape, with sequestered organelles, autophagolysosomes, and large, empty, single-membrane-bound vacuoles were observed within the cytoplasm. The results indicate that intensive and impaired autophagy mediates pathological accumulation of vacuoles in acinar cells. The rat model of acute pancreatitis induced by AAPH is useful to investigate the early events of oxidative stress insult to the pancreas.


C Tukaj, A Olewniak-Adamowska, M I Pirski, M Woźniak. Ultrastructural aspects of acute pancreatitis induced by 2, 2'-azobis (2-amidinopropane) dihydrochloride (AAPH) in rats. Folia morphologica. 2012 Aug;71(3):136-41

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PMID: 22936547

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