Pancreatology : official journal of the International Association of Pancreatology (IAP) ... [et al.]

Intestinal barrier dysfunction and increased COX-2 gene expression in the gut of elderly rats with acute pancreatitis.

PMID 26610611


The clinical course of acute pancreatitis can vary from mild to severe. In its most severe manifestation, acute pancreatitis is associated with an exacerbated systemic inflammatory response and high mortality rates. The severe form of acute pancreatitis is more frequent in elderly patients than in young patients, but the mechanisms underlying this difference are still under investigation. Rats were divided into two groups as follows: Group 1, young rats; and Group 2, old rats. Acute pancreatitis group was induced by a retrograde injection of a sodium taurocholate solution into the biliopancreatic duct. Using this model of acute pancreatic injury, we designed a study to investigate possible differences in microbial translocation and characteristics of the intestinal barrier between elderly and young rats. There was a significantly higher number of bacterial colonies in the pancreas of elderly rats compared with young rats following pancreas injury, which was associated with a more severe local intestinal inflammatory response that included elevated gene expression of COX-2 and a decreased gene expression of tight junction proteins. We conclude that intestinal damage during acute pancreatitis is exacerbated in elderly rats compared with young rats and that COX-2 inhibition could be a potential therapeutic target to offer tailored treatment for acute pancreatitis in the elderly.