The therapeutic effects of CV 3611, a new synthetic free radical scavenger prepared from an ascorbic acid derivative, on choline deficient, ethionine enriched (CDE) diet induced acute pancreatitis in mice were evaluated and compared with those of superoxide dismutase. Time/course studies after subcutaneous injection of CV 3611 in normal mice showed a peak plasma concentration of mean (SEM) 0.54 (0.09) micrograms/ml at one hour, with a gradual decrease over the next 10 hours, while a peak concentration in pancreatic tissue of mean (SEM) 425 (33) ng/g tissue was achieved at three hours and the drug was undetectable at 12 hours. Survival rates and activities of pancreatic enzymes (amylase, lipase, elastase I) were compared in control mice and animals that received CV 3611 before or at the time of feeding the CDE diet. The survival rate was observed in a no treatment group and mice given pretreatment or treatment with CV 3611 or superoxide dismutase. The survival rate was significantly better in the treatment group given CV 3611 (p less than 0.02), but superoxide dismutase had no significant effect on survival. The increases in the three serum enzyme activities were significantly less at 48 hours in the groups given pretreatment or treatment with CV 3611 than in the no treatment group. These results indicate that CV 3611, which has been proved to pass through the cell membrane and to have a long half life in plasma and tissue, had an important therapeutic effect on the development of acute pancreatitis. They also suggest that oxygen derived free radicals may play an important role in the development of acute pancreatitis.
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