Oxidative injury to isolated rat pancreatic acinar cells vs. isolated zymogen granules
Abstract This study compares the susceptibility of pancreatic acinar cells and zymogen granules against oxidative injury and analyzes the mechanisms involved. Zymogen granules and acinar cells, isolated from rat pancreas, were exposed to a reaction mixture containing xanthine oxidase, hypoxanthine, and chelated iron. Cell function and viability were assessed by various techniques. Trypsin activation was quantified by an Elisa for trypsinogen activating peptide. Integrity of granules was determined by release of amylase. The reaction mixture rapidly generated radicals as assessed by deoxyribose and luminol assays. This oxidative stress caused lysis of granules in a matter of minutes but significant cell death only after some hours. Nevertheless, radicals initiated intracellular vacuolization, morphological damage to zymogen granules and mitochondria, increase in trypsinogen activating peptide, and decrease in ATP already after 5–30 min. Supramaximal caerulein concentrations also caused rapid trypsin activation. Addition of cells but not of granules reduced deoxyribose oxidation, suggesting that intact cells act as scavengers. Caerulein pretreatment only slightly increased the susceptibility of cells but markedly that of granules. In conclusion, isolated zymogen granules are markedly more susceptible to oxidative injury than intact acinar cells, in particular, in early stages of caerulein pancreatitis. The results show that oxidative stress causes a rapid trypsin activation that may contribute to cell damage by triggering autodigestion. Zymogen granules and mitochondria appear to be important targets of oxidative damage inside acinar cells. The series of intracellular events initiated by oxidative stress was similar to changes seen in early stages of pancreatitis.
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