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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2009, Vol. 7 ›› Issue (7): 651-.doi: 10.3736/jcim20090709

• Original Experimental Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Dachengqi Decoction induces pancreatic acinar cell apoptosis in experimental acute pancreatitis in rats

Yan-yi Ren, Han-lin Gong, Wen-Fu Tang,Mei-hua Wan, Jian-lei Zhao, Xi Huang   

  1. Department of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, Sichuan Province, China
  • Received:2009-03-24 Accepted:2009-04-30 Online:2009-07-20 Published:2009-07-15
  • Contact: Wen-Fu Tang


To explore the effects of Dachengqi Decoction (DCQD), a compound traditional Chinese herbal medicine, on pancreatic acinar cell apoptosis in a rat model of experimental acute pancreatitis.


A total of 36 Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into sham-operated group, untreated group and DCQD-treated group (12 rats in each group). Acute pancreatitis was induced in 24 rats by retrograde injection of 3.5% sodium taurocholate into pancreatic bile duct. The other 12 rats were allocated as sham-operated group. After the operation, the spray-dried DCQD (2 g/mL of crude drugs) or normal saline at 10 mL/kg body weight of rats were orally administered. The rats were sacrificed by decapitation 12 h and 24 h after the administration, and samples were collected. Amylase activity in serum, nitric oxide (NO) content and inducible NO synthetase (iNOS) activity in pancreatic tissue were measured respectively. Pancreatic acinar cell apoptosis was identified by terminal deoxy-nucleotidyl transferase mediated dUTP nick end-labeling, and pathological scores of pancreatic tissues were determined under a light microscope.

At the two time points after treatment, the activities of serum amylase in the treated group were significantly lower than those in the untreated group (P<0.05), while the contents of pancreatic NO and activities of iNOS were higher than those in the untreated group (P<0.05), respectively. The pancreatic acinar cell apoptosis rates in the treatment group at 12 h and 24 h were higher than those in the untreated group, and the mean pancreatic pathomorphologic scores decreased correspondingly (P<0.05).

DCQD can induce pancreatic acinar cell apoptosis by increasing NO content and iNOS activity in the pancreas of experimental acute pancreatitis, which helps attenuate the pancreatic pathomorphology.

Key words: Dachengqi Decoction, Acute pancreatitis, Apoptosis, Pathomorphology, Rats

Table 1

Results of therapeutic indications in different groups ($\bar{x}$±s)"

Time Group n Amylase (U/L) NO (μmol/L) iNOS (U/mg) Apoptosis index (%) Pathology score
12 h Sham-operated 6 1 282±107 31.3±1.5 0.58±0.02 0.72±0.11 0.31±0.02
Untreated 6 7 418±559 6.8±0.5 0.38±0.02 5.40±1.24 3.95±0.25
Treated 6 4 996±422* 50.1±4.7* 0.49±0.03* 11.90±0.72* 2.98±0.28*
24 h Sham-operated 6 1 141±113 31.3±1.4 0.57±0.02 0.87±0.14 0.43±0.09
Untreated 6 6 952±545 8.5±0.9 0.36±0.02 3.54±0.65 4.67±0.31
Treated 6 4 238±379*△△ 62.2±2.2*△△ 0.43±0.06*△△ 21.50±4.30*△△ 3.15±0.25*△△

Figure 1

Pathological changes of pancreas in different groups observed by HE staining (Light microscopy, ×400) A: Sham-operated group; B: Untreated group; C: Treated group."

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