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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2006, Vol. 4 ›› Issue (4): 358-362.doi: 10.3736/jcim20060408

• Original Experimental Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of Chinese herbal medicines on spontaneous chronic pancreatitis in rats and the pathological relationships between formulas and syndromes

Shi-bing Su1, Yi-qun Li2, Hong-yi Shen1, Yoshiharu Motoo3   

  1. 1. Research Center for Complex System of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
    2. Biochemical Laboratory, CTK Biotechnology Corporation, San Diego 92122, USA; et al.
  • Online:2006-07-31 Published:2006-07-15


To investigate the effects of Guizhi Decoction, Chaihu Guizhi Decoction, Xiaochaihu Decoction and camostat on rat spontaneous chronic pancreatitis and the pathological relationships between formulas and syndromes.


Fifty-seven male WBN/Kob rats at age of 4 weeks were divided into five groups: untreated group (n=18), Guizhi Decoction-treated group (n=9), Chaihu Guizhi Decoction-treated group (n=9), Xiaochaihu Decoction-treated group (n=9) and camostat-treated group (n=12). The rats in each group were fed with corresponding drugs for 12 weeks. The pancreatic wet weight and histopathological changes of pancreatic tissue were observed every four weeks. Meanwhile, the expression level of pancreatitis-associated protein (PAP) in pancreas was detected by RT-PCR techique and immunohistochemical method.


In the untreated group, the histopathological changes in pancreas were observed in rats at 12-week age, while such changes were absent in the Guizhi Decoction-treated group. The histopathological changes in pancreas were quite remarkable in rats at 16-week age in both the Xiaochaihu Decoction-treated and the camostat-treated groups. The expression level of PAP mRNA was lower in the Guizhi Decoction-treated group than those in the other groups. The PAP expressions were absent in rats at 12-week age in the Guizhi Decoction-treated and the Chaihu Guizhi Decocion-treated groups.


Guizhi Decoction, Chaihu Guizhi Decoction, Xiaochaihu Decoction and camostat are all beneficial to prevention and cure of chronic pancreatitis, and Guizhi Decoction is the most effective one. It is speculated that Taiyang exterior syndrome may be the pathogenesis of basic syndrome of spontaneous chronic pancreatitis, and the expression of PAP may be its pathological basis.

Key words: Drugs, Chinese herbal, Pancreatitis, Pancreatitis-associated protein, WBN/Kob rat, Formula-syndrome

CLC Number: 

  • R576.2

Table 1

Histopathological changes and pancreatic wet weight in WBN/Kob rats with spontaneous chronic pancreatitis in different groups (ヌ±S)"

Group n Score of histopathological changes in pancreatic tissue Pancreatic wet weight
(mg/100 g body weight)
Inflammation Acinar degeneration Fibrosis
At 8-week age 6 0 0 0 133.38±9.10
At 12-week age 6 2.50±0.22 1.67±0.33 0.83±0.48 108.23±8.23
At 16-week age 6 2.17±0.31 2.50±0.22 2.50±0.22 95.52±2.85
Guizhi Decoction-treated
At 8-week age 3 0 0 0 146.81±11.45
At 12-week age 3 0** 0** 0** 142.02±8.41*
At 16-week age 3 0** 0** 0** 114.45±3.19*
Chaihu Guizhi Decoction-treated
At 8-week age 3 0 0 0 147.16±5.06
At 12-week age 3 0** 0** 0** 141.26±7.48*
At 16-week age 3 0.67±0.33* 0** 0** 116.05±10.79
Xiaochaihu Decoction-treated
At 8-week age 3 0 0 0 134.59±14.58
At 12-week age 3 0** 0** 0** 111.13±9.03
At 16-week age 3 1.33±0.44* 1.17±0.58* 0.83±0.17** 106.44±9.74
At 8-week age 4 0 0 0 268.33±33.46**
At 12-week age 4 0** 0** 0** 240.85±39.18**
At 16-week age 4 1.75±0.25* 1.58±0.52** 1.58±0.52** 174.55±11.62**

Figure 1

Histopathological changes in pancreatic tissues of WBN/Kob rats at 16-week ageA: Untreated group (HE staining, ×100); B: Guizhi Decoction-treated group (HE staining, ×100); C: Chaihu Guizhi Decoction-treated group (HE staining, ×100); D: Xiaochaihu Decoction-treated group (HE staining, ×100); E: Untreated group (SLAB method, ×200); F: Guizhi Decoction-treated group (SLAB method, ×200)."

Figure 2

Expressions of PAP mRNA in pancreatic tissues of WBN/Kob rats at 12- and 16-week age*P<0.05, **P<0.01, vs untreated group at the same age; △△P<0.01, vs untreated group at 12-week age; ▲▲P<0.01, vs camostat-treated group at the same age."

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