Pancreatic injury in hepatic alcohol dehydrogenase-deficient deer mice after subchronic exposure to ethanol

Bhupendra S. Kaphalia, Kamlesh K. Bhopale, Shakuntala Kondraganti, Hai Wu, Paul J. Boor, G. A.Shakeel Ansari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Pancreatitis caused by activation of digestive zymogens in the exocrine pancreas is a serious chronic health problem in alcoholic patients. However, mechanism of alcoholic pancreatitis remains obscure due to lack of a suitable animal model. Earlier, we reported pancreatic injury and substantial increases in endogenous formation of fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEEs) in the pancreas of hepatic alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH)-deficient (ADH-) deer mice fed 4% ethanol. To understand the mechanism of alcoholic pancreatitis, we evaluated dose-dependent metabolism of ethanol and related pancreatic injury in ADH- and hepatic ADH-normal (ADH+) deer mice fed 1%, 2% or 3.5% ethanol via Lieber-DeCarli liquid diet daily for 2months. Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was remarkably increased and the concentration was ~1.5-fold greater in ADH- vs. ADH+ deer mice fed 3.5% ethanol. At the end of the experiment, remarkable increases in pancreatic FAEEs and significant pancreatic injury indicated by the presence of prominent perinuclear space, pyknotic nuclei, apoptotic bodies and dilation of glandular ER were found only in ADH- deer mice fed 3.5% ethanol. This pancreatic injury was further supported by increased plasma lipase and pancreatic cathepsin B (a lysosomal hydrolase capable of activating trypsinogen), trypsinogen activation peptide (by-product of trypsinogen activation process) and glucose-regulated protein 78 (endoplasmic reticulum stress marker). These findings suggest that ADH-deficiency and high alcohol levels in the body are the key factors in ethanol-induced pancreatic injury. Therefore, determining how this early stage of pancreatic injury advances to inflammation stage could be important for understanding the mechanism(s) of alcoholic pancreatitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-162
Number of pages9
JournalToxicology and Applied Pharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Alcoholic pancreatitis
  • Apoptosis
  • Deer mice
  • ER stress
  • Fatty acid ethyl esters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology


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